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Film Independent Forum Sets ‘Late Night’s Nisha Ganatra As Keynote, ‘Ms. Purple’ And ‘Booksmart’ Screenings

  • Deadline
Film Independent Forum Sets ‘Late Night’s Nisha Ganatra As Keynote, ‘Ms. Purple’ And ‘Booksmart’ Screenings
Exclusive: Film Independent is looking to enrich and inspire the industry with its latest lineup of keynotes, films and panelists for its 14th annual Film Independent Forum. Keynotes will be delivered by Late Night filmmaker Nisha Ganatra and Len Amato President of HBO Films. The Forum will kick off with a screening of Olivia Wilde’s comedy Booksmart and will also feature Justin Chon’s drama Ms. Purple. The event, which continues to champion inclusive storytelling in film, takes place April 26 – 28 at the Lmu Playa Vista Campus and Harmony Gold Theater.

“Once again, I am thrilled to congregate our community to explore the work of the most interesting creators this year,” said Maria Raquel Bozzi, Senior Director of Education and International Initiatives. “From our screenings of Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart and Justin Chon’s Ms. Purple to our Keynotes by acclaimed writer-director Nisha Ganatra and HBO Films President Len Amato,
See full article at Deadline »

2017 Ida Documentary Awards Nominees Announced, Including ‘Icarus,’ ‘The Keepers,’ and ‘The Vietnam War’

The International Documentary Association has announced its initial round of nominees for the 2017 Ida Documentary Awards, including special mentions and nods for limited series, curated series, episodic series, and more. Nominees for Best Feature and Best Short, and awards for creative recognition, will be announced on November 1. The Ida will honor director Marcel Mettelsiefen’s “Watani: My Homeland” with the Pare Lorentz Award. Also receiving a special mention in the category is Joe Berlinger’s “Intent to Destroy.”

Other standouts from this first list of nominees include Bryan Fogel’s controversial “Icarus,” Ryan White’s Netflix series “The Keepers,” Ken Burns’ revelatory miniseries “The Vietnam War,” and many more of the year’s best in documentary offerings.

Read More:Joan Didion and Arthur Miller Get the Documentary Treatment From Family Members, And That Makes All the Difference — Nyff

The 33rd edition of the annual ceremony will take place Saturday, December
See full article at Indiewire »

How Netflix, Amazon and Hulu are transforming the TV business

The scripted drama boom is changing the entire TV industry. But is it a change for the better?

“It’s an exciting time,” is a refrain now most commonly uttered by those in the business of making content for the Us streaming services.

Not only have Netflix, Amazon and co fuelled a surge in the volume of scripted content, subscription video on demand services (SVoDs) are also doing their bit, as they expand and evolve, to change the business and art of high-end television.

“Partly it’s driven by the SVoDs, partly it’s driven by the retrenching of the feature film business,” says Ted Miller, co-head of the television department at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), whose client Matthew Weiner is among the high-profile writer-producers working on streaming series.

The Crown

“You have artists who want to tell great stories and if those stories are not being done in the movie business they are being done now
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Cinema Eye Honors Turn 10: How This Oscar-Season Protest Became a Cozy Documentary Club

The Oscars can have its annual celebrity luncheon. This week, several documentarians celebrated the Cinema Eye Honors with an after-hours field trip to the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Conceived in 2008 as a bid to broaden awareness for documentary achievements, the Cinema Eyes highlight a dozen categories that range from best director to best cinematography to graphic design. However, while it began as a tonic to the five-nominee limitations that circumscribe the Oscars, the Cinema Eyes have evolved into an idiosyncratic celebration all its own. Although the awards are Wednesday night at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, the ceremony is now only the culmination of a full week of programming that includes three days of activities.

“It’s kind of like senior skip week,” said co-founder and filmmaker Aj Schnack, catching his breath on Monday night before delivering a speech to the filmmakers in attendance. “Yes,
See full article at Indiewire »

How ‘Tower’ Demonstrates the Possibilities of Art and Healing in Nonfiction Filmmaking — Consider This

How ‘Tower’ Demonstrates the Possibilities of Art and Healing in Nonfiction Filmmaking — Consider This
In the documentary short “Speaking is Difficult,” director Aj Schnack marries B-roll shots of public spaces where mass shootings took place with voiceover of the events’ 911 calls. It captures the mundanity of grocery parking lots, main streets, schools invaded by extreme violence, and how quickly life appears, superficially, to return to normal.

Read More: Field of Vision Founder Aj Schnack’s Powerful Short Visits Sites of Mass Shootings – Watch

Keith Maitland’s “Tower” is about the trauma that persists and how it’s sometimes possible to unearth and heal those wounds.

In broad daylight on August 1, 1966, the Austin campus of the University Texas was host to the United States’ first mass shooting at a school. From atop a tower in an open courtyard, sniper Charles Whitman held what was the equivalent of five city blocks of the campus hostage for 96 minutes, killing 17 people and wounding 32 others.

Dallas-born filmmaker Keith Maitland
See full article at Indiewire »

Standing Up to Trump: 5 Tips From a Film Community Ready For a Fight

  • Indiewire
Standing Up to Trump: 5 Tips From a Film Community Ready For a Fight
Members of the film community are coming out of the woodwork to band together and push back on the repression that is anticipated to come out of the incoming Trump administration. From documentarians reaffirming their commitment to exposing hidden truths to narrative filmmakers pledging to combat racism with their work, many are planning a strong response to the 2016 presidential election.

Read More: President Donald Trump: How the Indie Film World Will Respond

The Film Society of Lincoln Center assembled some of those voices Wednesday by convening an “urgent conversation” with Film Quarterly entitled “Film & Media in a Time of Repression.” Moderated by Film Quarterly editor and Uc Santa Cruz professor Ruby Rich, the event featured speakers including “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon, blacklisted screenwriter Walter Bernstein and Portugese documentary filmmaker Susana de Sousa Dias. Here are some of the highlights from the discussion, which outlined some key points
See full article at Indiewire »

Ida Awards 2016: ‘O.J.: Made in America’ Tops a Netflix-Heavy Winners List

Ida Awards 2016: ‘O.J.: Made in America’ Tops a Netflix-Heavy Winners List
Friday night’s 32nd annual International Documentary Association Awards at the Paramount Theater in Hollywood became another step in certifying a new American classic in Espn Films’ epic “O.J.: Made in America.”

Ezra Edelman’s nearly eight-hour documentary was named as the Ida’s 2016 Best Feature Award. It’s the latest in a series of accolades for the landmark saga of the life and trial of O.J. Simpson.

On the Best Short side, the top prize went to Netflix’s Syrian first-responders profile “The White Helmets,” from “Virunga” director/producer team Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara.

Ida members voted on these two categories from a list of six nominees each.

In addition to “The White Helmets,” Netflix programming comprised a significant portion of the evening’s winners. “Making a Murderer,” the true-crime investigation of the decade-spanning conviction and imprisonment of Steven Avery, was named Best Limited Series. The Best
See full article at Indiewire »

'O.J.: Made In America' triumphs at Ida Awards

  • ScreenDaily
'O.J.: Made In America' triumphs at Ida Awards
The International Documentary Association (Ida) hailed its own at Friday’s 32nd Annual Ida Documentary Awards and launched a $5m journalism project.

Espn’s episodic O.J.: Made In America won the best feature award in further recognition of Ezra Edelman’s work after wins at the National Board of Review and New York Film Critics Circle.

The best Short Award went to Netflix’s The White Helmets directed by Orlando von Einsiedel. Best Cinematography was presented to Gianfranco Rosi for his Fire At Sea, distributed in the Us by Kino Lorber, while Netflix’s Making a Murderer earned best limited series award.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has gifted the Ida the four-year, $5m grant to establish the Ida Documentary/Journalism Project to improve and combine work from both fields in a manner that promotes the safety of it practitioners.

This year the Ida honored five filmmakers and documentary luminaries. Lyn and [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Awards Roundup: Megan Ellison to Receive PGA Visionary Award, Guillermo del Toro Honored and More

  • Indiewire
Keep up with the glitzy awards world with our weekly Awards Roundup column.

Megan Ellison will receive the Producers Guild of America’s 2017 Visionary Award at the PGA Awards on January 28, 2017 in Los Angeles. The award recognizes television, film, or new media producers for their unique or uplifting contributions to our culture through inspiring storytelling or performance.

Ellison is being recognized with the award for her work as a fierce supporter of distinctive and creative voices in films such as “American Hustle,” “Her,” “The Master,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Foxcatcher,” and most recently “20th Century Women.”

Read More: Annette Bening to Receive Career Achievement Award, Ridley Scott Honored By Directors Guild and More

Megan Ellison joined our industry when she founded Annapurna Pictures just over six years ago, and she got here just in time,” PGA awards chairs Donald De Line and Amy Pascal said in a statement. “Megan and her
See full article at Indiewire »

Inside Laura Poitras’ Plan to Shake Up Documentary Storytelling

  • Indiewire
Inside Laura Poitras’ Plan to Shake Up Documentary Storytelling
Laura Poitras isn’t waiting for traditional media to tell the stories that will change the world. One year after co-founding Field of Vision, the visual journalism unit of First Look Media, Poitras and co-founders Aj Schnack and Charlotte Cook are doubling down on their efforts to commission original works of nonfiction that address global events.

Read More: Field of Vision Launches New Website and New Slate of Short-Form Documentaries

While Poitras will be leaving The Intercept, the journalism outfit co-founded by Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, to focus on expanding Field of Vision, her day-to-day work of commissioning films and short form work will not change, and the two organizations will continue their collaboration on nonfiction storytelling. Field of Vision commissioned 22 nonfiction shorts, three episodic series and two feature-length documentaries in its first year, but Poitras and her team are working to expand their collaborations with filmmakers, reporters and
See full article at Indiewire »

Cinema Eye Names Top Documentaries and Directors of the Past Decade

  • Indiewire
Cinema Eye has named 10 filmmakers and 20 films that have been voted as the top achievements in documentary filmmaking during the past 10 years. Founded in 2007 to “recognize and honor exemplary craft and innovation in nonfiction film,” Cinema Eye polled 110 members of the documentary community to determine the winning films and filmmakers just as the organization kicks off its tenth year.

Read More: Behind the Scenes of Cinema Eye’s Secret Field Trip for Nominees

Among the films chosen are Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing,” Laura Poitras’ Oscar-winning “Citizenfour” and Banksy’s “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Poitras and Oppenheimer were both also named to the list of the top documentary filmmakers, joining Alex Gibney, Werner Herzog and Frederick Wiseman, who recently won an honorary Oscar and will be saluted at the annual Governors Awards on November 12.

“It’s fantastic that he is being recognized by the Academy for a
See full article at Indiewire »

First Look Media Names New Distribution Heads Todd Green and Carrie Lieberman

  • Indiewire
First Look Media Names New Distribution Heads Todd Green and Carrie Lieberman
First Look Media, which co-financed the Best Picture Oscar winner “Spotlight” as its first project and helped produce Laura Poitras’ upcoming Julian Assange documentary “Risk,” has hired Todd Green as its Senior Vice President of Content Distribution and Licensing and Carrie Lieberman as Director of Content Distribution and Licensing.

Read More: Cannes: With ‘Risk,’ Laura Poitras Ignites Demand For Julian Assange’s Release

Green and Lieberman will identify and secure distribution partnerships and licensing deals for content produced and acquired by First Look across film, television and short form digital. Green was previously a Senior Vice President of Digital Distribution at the now-defunct Alchemy, prior to which he was a General Manager at Tribeca Film and a Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising at AMC Networks.

“Todd brings a wealth of experience with a range of distribution deals, partners and models from his extensive time at AMC Networks and Tribeca Film,
See full article at Indiewire »

Us Briefs: First Look Media unveils distribution heads

  • ScreenDaily
The company said on Wednesday that Todd Green has been named senior vice-president of content distribution and licensing and Carrie Lieberman director of content distribution and licensing.

First Look Media also announced that Lydia Cheuk has been named senior vice president, business and legal affairs. Josh Epstein, executive vice-president and chief business officer, made the announcements. Green and Lieberman are pictured.

eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar launched the company in 2013. It co-financed Spotlight and the slate of projects include Risk by Laura Poitras and director Aj Schnack’s docuseries on the presidential campaign, NomiNation.

Chinese actress Jing Tian will star alongside John Boyega, Scott Eastwood and Cailee Spaeny in Legendary Entertainment’s Pacific Rim sequel, set to open through Universal Pictures on February 23, 2018. Legendary will distribute directly in China through its parent company Wanda. Steven S. DeKnight directs. Tian’s Chinese credits include New Police Story and Special ID with Donnie Yen. She will next
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Field of Vision Launches New Website and New Slate of Short-Form Documentaries

  • Indiewire
Field of Vision Launches New Website and New Slate of Short-Form Documentaries
Field of Vision, the cinematic journalism unit of First Look Media, has just kicked off its second year with a new website whose centerpiece is SecureDrop, a means of anonymously leaking newsworthy images and videos. It’s also been announced that Laura Poitras, who won an Academy Award for her 2014 documentary “Citizenfour” and co-created Field of Vision alongside Aj Schnack and Charlote Cook, is leaving The Intercept to focus on expanding the nonfiction platform.

Read More: Field of Vision Founder Aj Schnack’s Powerful Short Visits Sites of Mass Shootings – Watch

“Without the images from Abu Ghraib Prison disclosed by whistleblower Joseph Darby, the world would never know the torture and abuse that occurred there,” Poitras, who co-founded Field of Vision, said in a statement. “Images can literally transform how we understand the world. We believe the public has a right to not only know, but also a right to see.
See full article at Indiewire »

Critics’ Choice Awards Adds Brand New Event Honoring Documentary Film and Television

The Critics’ Choice Awards are getting real. The popular annual event show is branching off, thanks to a brand-new awards ceremony that will focus on the year’s best achievements in documentary features and non-fiction television, appropriately branded as the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards.

The Critics’ Choice Awards previously awarded documentary-facing awards, including Best Documentary Feature and Best Unstructured Reality Show, as part of its annual awards show.

Read More: What the Critics’ Choice Awards Can and Cannot Tell Us About the Emmy Race

The inaugural event will take place on Thursday, November 3 in Brooklyn, New York and feature awards in the following categories:

Best Documentary Feature Film (Theatrical Premiere) Best Documentary Feature (Television Premiere) Best Director of a Documentary Best First Documentary Feature Best Music Documentary Best Sports Documentary Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary Best Limited Documentary Series for Television Best Ongoing Documentary Series for Television Best
See full article at Indiewire »

Kartemquin Turns 50: How the Production Company’s Homemade Camera Shaped the History of Documentaries — Watch

Kartemquin Turns 50: How the Production Company’s Homemade Camera Shaped the History of Documentaries — Watch
The “direct cinema” and “cinéma vérité” movement pioneered by non-fiction filmmakers like Robert Drew and the Maysles was in part fueled by advances in camera technology. Similar to how the digital technology has forever altered our current documentary landscape, in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the big advancement was faster film stock (which needed less light for exposure) and portable 16mm cameras with a crystal sync — which allowed sound to be recorded independently and later synchronized in post-production. That gave tremendous freedom to filmmakers to follow subjects and capture everyday life.

Read More: How the Footage of Bernie Sanders Being Arrested in 1963 Was Discovered By Kartemquin Films

The intimacy and fluidity of these films that spawned from the new equipment inspired three aspiring documentarians from University of Chicago: Stan Karter, Jerry Temaner, and Gordon Quinn, who founded Kartemquin Films (the company’s name came from a combination of letters
See full article at Indiewire »

Why Oscilloscope Laboratories Is Releasing The Charming Short ‘Pickle’ In Theaters – Exclusive

Why Oscilloscope Laboratories Is Releasing The Charming Short ‘Pickle’ In Theaters – Exclusive
Amy Nicholson’s award-winning short “Pickle” has no business being as funny as it is. The award-winning 15-minute short is an energetic and amusing overview of what sounds like an entirely traumatizing experience, as it chronicles 25 years of Tom and Debbie Nicholson’s unbelievably bad luck with a bevy of rescue animals, from the eponymous Pickle the fish to an entire flock of ill-fated fowl.

The film’s official synopsis strikes the appropriate balance between off-kilter humor and almost overwhelming heartache: “Let us reflect on the brief existence of Pickle the fish. Although he could not swim, he was lovingly cared for by a couple that kept him propped up in a sponge. Along with an obese chicken, a cat with a heart condition, and a paraplegic possum, his life is a celebration of man’s eternal capacity to care for all creatures. He will be dearly missed.”

Read More: Attention,
See full article at Indiewire »

Field of Vision Founder Aj Schnack’s Powerful Short Visits Sites of Mass Shootings – Watch

Field of Vision Founder Aj Schnack’s Powerful Short Visits Sites of Mass Shootings – Watch
Last fall, following the mass shooting in which 10 people were killed at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College, Field of Vision co-founders Aj Schnack and Laura Poitras had a conversation about how they could make an artistic and cinematic film about the tragedy.

“I had this idea of not just talking about Oregon, but the fact that it seemed in the way that we responded to these events that they were constantly echoes of each other and that we were having these conversations on social media that were cyclical,” Schnack told IndieWire in a recent interview.

Read More: How Field Of Vision’s Quick Production Turnaround Is Changing The Way Documentaries Are Made And Seen

In the hope of capturing the cyclical nature of these events, Schnack sent 18 local cinematographers to visit 25 different sites of mass shootings to capture what life was like at those sites now. What he quickly realized
See full article at Indiewire »

2016 True/False Film Festival: Jordan M. Smith’s Postscript

It might be missing the industry saturated Park City fervor, but the smaller, shorter, and more intimate Columbia, Missouri based True/False Film Festival is the Rolls-Royce (by way of John Deere) of doc focused cinema. Filmmaker Laura Poitras is not alone in stating that her “love for True/False runs deep – from the smart programming, passionate audiences, inspired buskers, and fabulous venues.” Time and time again, selected filmmakers throughout this year’s edition expressed their love of the fest, while plenty of filmmaker personalities from prior editions could be spotted milling around town as casual filmgoers happy to pay to relive the experience.

With a highly curated program just shy of 50 films shown on 9 different screens (each of which are walkable in just 5-10 minutes of one another) over just 4 days, True/False centers its attention on quality and community, both locally and cinematically. For a city with a
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Rotterdam fest tunes back into TV

Rotterdam fest tunes back into TV
Iffr’s new artistic director Bero Beyer brings television back to the big screen in Rotterdam.

Following on from the 2013 strand Signals: Changing Channels, Beyer and former Critics’ Week programmer Léo Soesanto have jointly created Episodic/Epidemic - a new strand that highlights filmmakers working within television formats.

The section sits within Perspectives - an over-arching part of the festival Bero considers as “film-making that detours to the left, to the right and upside down of cinema”.

Both Soesanto and Beyer assert it is not another festival trend, which has seen TV strands such as Berlinale’s Special Series and Toronto’s Primetime, but instead an extension of Iffr’s programming.

“This is at the heart of Rotterdam [Iffr] - we want to celebrate all the ways a filmmaker can express themselves. Whether it’s music, art, gaming, Vr or episodic - we want to find the best way to present different types of storytelling,” said Bero.

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See full article at ScreenDaily »
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