Tragedy, Neurosis, Sundance: The Long, Strange Journey of ‘Person to Person’ Director Dustin Guy Defa

Tragedy, Neurosis, Sundance: The Long, Strange Journey of ‘Person to Person’ Director Dustin Guy Defa
Dustin Guy Defa makes his Sundance Film Festival feature debut with “Person to Person,” and he doesn’t know what to expect. He’s had a lot of disappointments in his life, ranging from being the kind of penniless artist whose survival demands long-term couch surfing to overcoming a nightmare family of origin. (It yielded his 2011 Sundance short, “Family Nightmare.”)

However, “Person To Person” also gives real weight to the time-worn trope that values the journey over the destination. With a cast that includes names like Michael Cera and”Broad City” star Abbi Jacobson as well as indie filmmaking stalwarts like David Zellner and Benny Safdie, it reflects the success he’s had building his place in independent filmmaking and the joy he brings with it. “It comes through loud and clear in his work,” said filmmaker David Lowery, a longtime Defa fan. “It’s the reason why his movies
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Sundance ’17: ‘Person to Person’

Sundance ’17: ‘Person to Person’
By Peter Belsito

Person to Person” starring Michael Cera and Abbi Jacobson

This very interesting New York City deals with mostly youthful characters struggling with identity, career and some unusual compulsions. Their struggles are typical but unique also and quite affecting.

The NYC setting just perfect for such a group. During a single day in New York City, a variety of characters grapples with the mundane, the unexpected, and the larger questions permeating their lives.

An investigative reporter struggles with her first day on the job, despite help from her misguided boss; a rebellious teen attempts to balance her feminist ideals with other desires; and a young man seeks to reconcile with his ex-girlfriend, even as her brother threatens revenge.

Meanwhile, an avid music lover traverses the city in search of a rare record for his vinyl collection.

Shot entirely in 16mm, “Person to Person” effortlessly humanizes its characters, invoking
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5 Broken Cameras Wins Best Doc at 2013 Cinema Eye Honors

Sorry Oscars. But after the Indie Spirit Awards, the number two spot in terms of Award Season importance are the Cinema Eye Honors. Seems like it was only yesterday when Aj Schnack & Thom Powers teamed up for one basic, logical concept: an event that would reward yearly output of documentary film in a rightfully sound manner. With the wind in their sails, the 6th annual edition was held last night and deservingly so, adding to its double wins at the Idfa and Sundance, it is 5 Broken Cameras that took the top honors for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking. Co-directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi – political activism via you guessed it, five video cameras. The film was released via Kino Lorber.

The night’s only double winner, could be regarded as the silver medal doc film of the year: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s Detropia grabbed the Outstanding
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"The Imposter," "Searching for Sugar Man" Lead Cinema Eye Nominations!

"The Imposter" and "Searching for Sugar Man" each received 5 nods from the Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking. 31 features and 5 shorts will vie for the best of the best in documentary filmmaking. Check out the full list of nominees below including the Audience Award and Heterodox Award.

Winners of the 6th Annual Cinema Eye Honors will be announced on January 9, 2013 as Cinema Eye returns for a third year to New York City.s Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking

5 Broken Cameras

Directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi

Produced by Christine Camdessus, Serge Gordey, Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi


Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

Produced by Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady and Craig Atkinson

The Imposter

Directed by Bart Layton

Produced by Dimitri Doganis

Marina Abramović The Artist is Present

Directed by Matthew Akers

Produced by Jeff Dupre and Maro Chermayeff
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AFI Fest 2012 Announces Lineup For World Cinema, Breakthrough, Midnight And Shorts Selections

AFI Fest 2012 presented by Audi, a program of the American Film Institute, today announced the remaining sections and films that will screen in the festival.s World Cinema, Breakthrough, Midnight and Shorts programs. AFI Fest, which annually presents the best of world cinema in the movie capital of the world, will take place November 1 through 8 at the historic Grauman.s Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

World Cinema showcases the most anticipated and prize-winning international films of the year, Breakthrough highlights work discovered only through the submission process and Midnight.s selections are always haunting. Both World Cinema and Breakthrough feature a number of films making their North American or U.S. Premieres, including The Angels. Share, Greatest Hits, Laurence Anyways, Nairobi Half Life, Pieta, White Elephant and Zaytoun.

Two of the shorts in competition are from AFI Conservatory.s recent class of
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2012 AFI Fest Load Up in Petzold, Haneke, Mungiu, Reygadas, Assayas, Miguel Gomes and a pair from Seidl

Today, AFI 2012 announced its complete lineup, after previously debuting its New Auteurs, Young Americans, Galas and Special Screenings we finally get a look at the Midnight, Breakthrough, Shorts, and deliriously good World Cinema Selections.

The Shorts section, with almost too many to count, features new work from Nacho Vigalando, Nicolas Provost, and even Shia Labeouf (Cannes selected), among many others. The four Midnight titles all played in Tiff 2012’s Midnight Madness selection, and here we see John Dies at the End making a stop here after originally premiering at Sundance. They’ve nabbed three North American premieres in their Breakthrough section, including Kid from Fien Troch, Nairobi Half Life from David Tosh Gitonga, and Oh Boy from Jan Ole Gerster. But AFI has managed to really impress with it’s World Cinema selections. Just as they nabbed Cannes premiere Holy Motors for their Special Screenings, they’ve nabbed several high
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Cinema Eye Honors Names Ten Finalists for Outstanding Short Film Award 2013

Cinema Eye Honors Names Ten Finalists for Outstanding Short Film Award 2013
Cinema Eye names the ten finalists for its 2013 Outstanding Short Film Award, as chosen by a committee of international film festival programmers. The nonfiction films are listed below. Five of the finalists will be announced as nominees in October, prior to the 6th Annual Cinena Eye Honors in January. This will be the third year Cinama Eye recognizes nonfiction shorts with an award. Past recipients of the award include Tim Hetherington's "Diary" and Vance Malone's "The Poodle Trainer." The ten finalists are: Aaron Burr, Part 2 (USA), directed by Dana O’Keefe CatCam (USA), directed by Seth Keal Cutting Loose (Scotland) directed by Finlay Pretsell and Adrian McDowall Family Nightmare (USA), directed by Dustin Guy Defa Fanuzzi’s Gold (USA) , directed by Georgia Gruzen Good Bye Mandima (Kwa Heri Mandima) (Switzerland), directed by Robert-Jan Lacombe ...
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2012 Sydney Underground Film Festival: Official Lineup

The 6th annual Sydney Underground Film Festival is taking over all three screens of the Factory Theatre for a blow-out four-day event on Sept. 6-9.

Making it’s World Premiere at the fest on the 8th is the highly anticipated President Wolfman, the latest “green movie” by director Mike Davis that he’s cobbled together from public domain footage and feature films and set to an outrageous new soundtrack. The film looks like it promises to be a rollicking good time.

Other highlights of the fest include Guy Maddin‘s latest trippy film noir, Keyhole, about a mobster revisiting his homestead’s old memories; Bob Ray‘s documentary about Austin, Texas’ homegrown Total Badass; Bobcat Goldthwait’s media takedown God Bless America; Michal Kosakowski’s underground murder fantasy documentary hit Zero Killed; Richard Griffin’s funky The Disco Exorcist; and more.

Some of the extra special events of the fest
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La Di Da Film Festival Announces 2012 Line-Up

On September 14-15, the 92Y Tribeca (New York City) will host the debut of the La Di Da Film Festival, which showcases the recent work of a group of post-Mumblecore figures, including Amy Seimetz, the Safdie Brothers, Sean Price Williams, Dustin Guy Defa, Alex Karpovsky, Kate Lyn Sheil, Eléonore Hendricks and Kentucker Audley. The line-up includes a couple of our festival favorites (Sun Don’t Shine, Family Nightmare) as well as a few world premieres (Open Five 2, Circles).
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92Ytribeca’S Post-mumblecore La Di Da Film Festival Announced

I’ve had wind of this for a while, via both filmmaker Kentucker Audley and programmer Miriam Bale (who has a feature on Beasts of the Southern Wild in our current issue), but now the news is public. On September 14 and 15, the 92Y Tribeca will host the first La Di Da film festival, which takes a look at the recent work of a group of post-Mumblecore figures, including Amy Seimetz, the Safdies, Sean Price Williams, Dustin Guy Defa, Alex Karpovsky, Kate Lyn Sheil, Eléonore Hendricks and Audley.

In the press release explaining the genesis of the event, Bale says, “I’ve programmed mostly classic films for many years, but recently I’ve seen contemporary films that look like new classics. Many were shot on 16mm. They’re simple yet sophisticated, and also experimental and really feel like something new. These filmmakers are using documentary or low-budget methods to film quickly and cheaply in the streets,
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Disposable Memories From SXSW

I pack quickly the night before leaving for SXSW. Not only do I forget to bring business cards, I don’t even pack my digital camera. I pop into a Cvs once I’ve landed in Austin and pick up a two-pack of disposable cameras. I’m surprised they still sell them.

My five day jaunt across SXSW is a flurry of rain, movies, tacos, friends, panels, and long lines. I watch Purple Rain on VHS. I watch V/H/S in a movie theater. I’m asked by multiple people if I’ve heard what this year’s Tiny Furniture is. I hear a big-four agent tell a filmmaker that he thinks they’re “really talented,” but that he hopes their next movie will be “faster.” I feel agoraphobic on an hourly basis.

I see no homeless people boosting wi-fi signals. I find it refreshing to take pictures and
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Mouthful, Tumbleweed! At SXSW

Robert G. Putka‘s Mouthful and Jared Varava‘s Tumbleweed! are two short films that have been selected to screen at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival, which will run in Austin, TX on March 9-17.

Mouthful is Putka’s second short film, a verbally raunchy comedy starring Eilis Cahill and Conor Casey as a young couple whose relationship becomes strained thanks to an overly frank discussion about their sexual histories. The film was recently reviewed on Bad Lit: The Journal of Underground Film saying “one shouldn’t assume too much how the premise of a young man and woman discussing [male] anatomy will play out.”

Putka has also mounted an IndieGoGo campaign to help fund his filmmaking team’s trip to SXSW and for marketing material, such as posters, T-shirts, press kits and such. If you want to help out, please visit the Mouthful IndieGoGo page.

Tumbleweed! is the latest collaboration between
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