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!
With the 2017 Sundance Film Festival only a handful of days away, so begins another new year of festival programs to look out for, anticipating what independent films to catch and what to miss. Sundance starts the ball rolling and Rotterdam, Berlin, SXSW, Cannes, Toronto and a smattering of other big name festivals follow hot on the heels over the next few months, introducing a window of programming that continues the cycle. Filmmaker Magazine’s Dan Schoenbrun made a list of 50 anticipated American films that have not yet premiered anywhere but will nonetheless be in festival programs everywhere soon. They are simply films he has heard of and cannot wait to see. Check out the full list, including explanations as to why Shoenbrun anticipates their release!
DOC NYC has just announced the lineup for its 7th edition, and get ready - there's something exciting for all documentary-philes and film lovers in general! Taking place this November 10-17 in venues across Manhattan, the festival will showcase over 250 films and events - with 110 feature length documentaries. For more information on the lineup, head over to Filmmaker Magazine for the full scoop.
Ah, remember the good ol' days of variety shows?! Yea, probably not because they actually reached their heyday decades ago. On television, variety was at its most popular in the 1960s and 70s. But I mean, wouldn’t it be cool if we could bring them back, incorporating, say, the latest and greatest up-and-coming alternative filmmakers? Actually, this is a mighty close reality. You don’t say?! Well, producers Dan Schoenbrun and Vanessa McDonnell have just launched a Kickstarter that, if successful, will introduce The Eyeslicer - “a new variety show bringing the next generation of alternative American filmmakers together under one strange roof.” The campaign was launched last week and is almost halfway to its goal with a few weeks to go. It promises to be weird and that’s a good enough promise for us. Be warned, Season 1 will run as invite only, so if you’re interested in watching, make sure you donate at least $20 to the campaign to get full access to the exclusive “club”. Read here to learn more about what promises to be “120 Minutes, but for alternative film instead of alternative music” or just trust us and jump directly to the campaign and get donating!
So, you made a film. You’re proud of it. You want it to be seen. Naturally, this is the obvious path to take with a new project. However, your big setback is that there is no longer a clear route towards distribution (at least as it was once known). Things have changed. This was the topic at a Portland Film Festival Panel with Drafthouse Films COO, James Shapiro, and others in the industry. From traditional models shifting towards the streaming world, what does a filmmaker need to do to get their film seen by the world in the year 2016? Shapiro’s advice? Focus on niche markets and always consider self-distribution as an option. Read here for more, via Filmmaker Magazine!
Since 1998, Filmmaker Magazine has graced us with an annual list that is absolutely worth checking out every year. Something they have declared their most “celebrated feature of the year”, their “25 New Faces of Independent Film” articles have come to show us a list of impressive up-and-comers in the industry that are worthy of all the praised bestowed upon them. The 25 lucky people are the result of Filmmaker Magazine digging deep to find the pulse of what’s new within the indie film community this year - new storytelling forms, new stories to tell, new ways of impacting an audience. With that, the 2016 list has been released and Indie Street was absolutely thrilled and colored rainbow hues of surprised to see Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang of Hotel Dallas on the list. Hotel Dallas, a hybrid experimental doc telling the story of the TV show “Dallas” in 1980s communist Romania, was one of our most exciting doc feature selections at our inaugural Indie Street Film Festival last month. Read more about the married collaborative duo here and make sure to check out the rest of the list of newcomers making names for themselves within the industry!
I think everyone can agree that it’s a difficult endeavor making your first film. But what’s less often talked about is the notoriously challenging second feature. Sundance Institute is here to the rescue! In order to help filmmakers overcome the feared sophomore slump, they have created their FilmTwo Initiative. With support from NBCUniversal and led by Sundance’s Feature Film Program, the initiative plans to offer 13 filmmakers both creative and strategic help in beating the challenges that they face when creating their second feature film. The first round of selected fellows have been chosen and the talent is looking extremely promising! For more info on the FilmTwo Initiative and bios on the current fellows, read here.
Throughout Asia, airport movie theaters and pop-up cinemas are apparently a big trend. Passengers are actually treated to the opportunity to watch films before their flights, not just on them. The good news is that now the concept is coming to the US, with the Portland International Airport being the latest to take up the trend. While both Minneapolis-Saint Paul and the Miami International Airports have hosted airport cinemas that have screened art films and silent classics, the non-profit Hollywood Theatre in Portland will be opening the Hollywood Theatre @ PDX and will be showing short films. The programming will mostly focus on work from regional filmmakers with an emphasis on stories specific to the Pacific Northwest. Artist Residencies are also in the plans. And don’t worry travelers, this is all free entertainment for you to enjoy! Want to be a part of brightening up someone's day before a long haul on a cramped plane? The programming at the Hollywood Theater @ PDX will be rotated quarterly and curated films will be selected on a rolling basis via Film Freeway submissions. So you can be a part of the action! Want to have your film in the first cycle this summer? Remember, films must be submitted by April 30.