Tag Archives: beasts of the southern wild

APPLY: San Francisco Film Society wants to help you make the next “Fruitvale Station” (by 8/14)


Late Deadline: August 14 (4:59pm PST)
Application Fee: $45
Website: http://www.sffs.org/Filmmaker360/Grants/sffskrf-filmmaking-grant.aspx

“The SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grants support feature narrative films that through plot, character, theme or setting explore human and civil rights, antidiscrimination, gender and sexual identity and other social issues of our time. This is NOT a documentary grant.

The SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grant provides tangible encouragement and support to meaningful projects nationally that benefit and uplift the Bay Area filmmaking community in a professional and economic capacity. In addition to the cash grant, recipients receive various benefits through the Film Society’s comprehensive and dynamic filmmaker services programs.”


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So What’s The Deal With…Film Collectives?


I used to be the film kid who didn’t play with others. My dream was to be the traditional auteur: writer, director and editor. A triple threat not to be messed with.

In reality, I was just too afraid to ask for help.
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What To Do When The Words Won’t Come? Oscar Screenplay Nominees Share Their Hardest Scenes

Moonrise Kingdom


I’ve got this idea for a blog post. Grabs notebook and pen, anticipating the words to flow easily from my head to the paper. I get a sentence or two. Nope, that’s not quite what I want to say. Scratches out words. Tries again from a different angle. NO. NO. NO. Tosses notebook aside, sulks for a minute and checks Hulu for the latest episode of “Parks and Rec”.


A very smart woman named Gloria Steinem once said “I do not like to write – I like to have written.” And it’s absolutely true. Writing can be awful because it’s all on you. You have to do the work, mostly alone and it is hard.

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Another Chance To See “Beasts of the Southern Wild” In Theaters This Weekend!


I think we can officially say “Beasts” is the little indie that could. First Sundance, then Cannes and now 4…count ’em…4 Oscar noms (Best Picture, Actress, Director and Adapted Screenplay). What a wonderful inspiration for an filmmaker coming up today.

So if you haven’t seen it or just wanna watch it again on the big screen, I have some good news. According to the LA Times, “Fox Searchlight will rerelease the film in about 70 theaters this weekend. “Beasts” will be shown in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Miami and Washington, D.C., in addition to New York City and Los Angeles, where it will play at the Landmark 12 in Westwood.”

If it’s still not playing in your area, Hushpuppy and her friends from the Bathtub are also on DVD. BEAST IT, BEAST IT!

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Let’s Call It A Weekend! (Hot Topics Round-Up)

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” Gets 4 Oscar Noms!

In case you missed it, this year’s Academy Award nominations were announced on Thursday. Fellow indie Jalissa C. shares her thoughts about the surprising picks and snubs. A HUGE congrats on the “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Oscar nomination takeover: Quvenzhané Wallis for Best Actress (youngest nominee in history at 9 years old), Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture AND Benh Zeitlin for Best Director.

Golden Globes’ Panel With Best Foreign Language Nominees Streaming on Jan. 12th

If you have some time on Saturday in between finally seeing “Zero Dark Thirty”, I recommend checking out the 10th Annual Golden Globe Foreign Language Film Symposium streaming online HERE at 11am PST. Panel will feature directors Jacques Audiard (RUST AND BONE), Michael Haneke (AMOUR), Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache (THE INTOUCHABLES) and Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (KON-TIKI).

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Let’s Call It A Weekend! (Hot Topics Round-Up)

SAG Nominees: Duh’s, Snubs and WTF’s

The Screen Actors Guild announced their 2012 nominees this week. There were definitely some surprises, according to Sean. Where you happy with the actors/films recognized by the Hollywood Foreign Press?

Vote For FOCUS FORWARD Semifinalists In Socially Conscious Film Competit

The US Presidential election may have come, but everyday indies are running their own campaigns for personal projects. Three of my film friends are Audience Favorites semifinalists in the same short documentary contest. Check out their films and many others HERE.. Voting ends December 20th.

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Read The Indie Screenplays That Could Win Oscar Gold

It’s finally here! Awards season is my favorite time of the year. Indie film has never felt stronger to me and I think that there are quite a few little guy (and gal) contenders for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay noms.

With each Oscar season, it seems like studios are growing more comfortable with audience transparency. This is a huge advantage for us aspiring screenwriters. Now the words of today’s most talented scribes are right at our fingertips. A big thanks to Scott Myers of Go Into The Story  for reblogging the script catalog from Brad Brevet’s Rope of SiliconMy favorite thing to do is read scripts of films that I’ve already seen (LOOPER, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE) and discover the story changes from page to screen.

PDFs of those films and many more are waiting for you HERE. Gotta do something productive until February 24th, right?

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Let’s Call It A Weekend! (Hot Topics Round-up)

Sundance Film Festival announces 2013 program

The 2013 Sundance films are HERE!! A huge congrats to all the filmmakers who made the cut.

Vote For FOCUS FORWARD Semifinalists In Socially Conscious Film Competition

The US Presidential election may have come, but everyday indies are running their own campaigns for personal projects. Three of my film friends are Audience Favorites semifinalists in the same short documentary contest. Check out their films and many others HERE.. Voting ends December 20th.

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Let’s Call It A Weekend! (Hot Topics Round-up)

Sundance Film Festival begins announcing 2013 program

The 2013 Sundance films are here! A huge congrats to all the filmmakers who made the cut.

Vote For FOCUS FORWARD Semifinalists In Socially Conscious Film Competition


The US Presidential election may have come, but everyday indies are running their own campaigns for personal projects. Three of my film friends are Audience Favorites semifinalists in the same short documentary contest. Check out their films and many others HERE. Voting ends December 20th.

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QUEUE IT UP: “Beasts of the Southern Wild” coming to DVD on December 4th!

Official Sundance Film Festival poster that Fox Searchlight kept as theatrical release movie poster!

Need I say more? This holiday season just got more epic. It’s not secret how much I love this film since seeing it in Park City back earlier this year. Now the multiple award-winning (Sundance, Cannes & Gothams) story of a little Black girl named Hushpuppy and her daddy living in a magical place called the Bathtub is coming to a couch near you. Pre-orders are now available on Amazon and Best-Buy for DVD and Blu-ray. Official release date will be December 4th. Get ready to beast it, America!

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Don’t Miss the Gotham Awards Streaming Live This Monday (Nov. 26th)

Almost a month ago, the nominee for this year’s Gotham Independent Film Awards were announced. Now the big night is hours away. In case you don’t have a golden ticket to the live event, have no fear! The show will be streaming live on www.ifp.org at 7:30pm EST.

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Let’s Call It A Weekend!

Vote BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD for Gotham Independent Film Audience Award

Award season is kicking off full swing and I’m shameless campaigning for Hushpuppy for the win! Help make “Beasts of the Southern Wild” the final nominee for Gotham Audience Award. Vote online HERE by November 18th (Sunday).


The newest trailer for “The Central Park Five” by Ken Burns came out this week. One of my favorite films from Telluride will be in limited release on 11/23.

After seeing “Amour” by Michael Haneke (also at Telluride), I suggest have a puppy on standby for this very intense drama. You decide after watching this latest trailer.

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Rock The Vote: “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Makes Top 5 Gotham Audience Award Nominees

It’s no secret that today is a big deal. Many will trek out to the polls to choose the next President of the United States. But there’s another voting campaign close to my heart that I want to share today as well. One of the most poignant films I have seen so far, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD has made it to the final 5 round in the Gotham Independent Film Audience Awards.

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When Recognition Happens to Good Movies

This morning’s announcement of Gotham Independent Film Awards nominations included three very powerful Black stories from Sundance 2012. Congrats for BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD by Benh Zeitlin (Breakthrough Actor, Breakthrough Director), MIDDLE OF NOWHERE by Ava DuVernay (Breakthrough Actor, Best Feature) and AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY by Terence Nance (Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You) have been overflowing on my social media timelines and I couldn’t be happier.

I remember watching these films back in January, just hoping the powers that be would be paying attention too. It turns out they were.

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Unchained Resources: Cinereach Grants

Do you have a great idea for a feature film, but you’re only in the development stage? Then you should really look into Cinereach’s grant and awards program. Their website states:

Cinereach is a not-for-profit film production company and foundation that champions vital stories, artfully told. Created and led by young philanthropists, entrepreneurs and filmmakers, Cinereach empowers fiction and nonfiction filmmakers from all over the world through Grants & Awards, The Reach Film Fellowship, an internal Productions department, and through partnerships with the Sundance Institute and other organizations. Since 2006, Cinereach has disbursed close to $5 million in grant funds to more than 100 projects at the intersection of engaging storytelling, visual artistry and vital subject matter.

That sounds like my kind of production company. It’s one of the rare non-profit’s I’ve seen willing to help films in the early stages of it’s develop (it also funds films in production and post production). Cinereach produced Beasts of the Southern Wild and helped fund six other films that were at Sundance this year, including: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Compliance, I Am Not A Hipster, Keep the Lights On, and The Queen of Versailles. After the jump is a lot more information about the grants. The deadline is September 4th, so get cracking! Continue reading

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Sean’s Thoughts on Beasts of the Southern Wild

I respect Beasts of the Southern Wild and its director, Benh Zeitlin. The film’s 16mm photography is absolutely beautiful, and the effect work is unbelievable. The immense amount of time he spent finding Hushpuppy is worth it because Quvenzhané Wallis is an amazing breath of fresh air. She’s raw and honest. It never feels like she’s acting, she’s simply Hushpuppy. The film is insanely ambitious (maybe too ambitious?), especially for a feature debut. As a filmmaker, Beasts is very inspiring. The film is about characters Hollywood doesn’t acknowledge and is definitely saying something about the world we live in.

This is exactly what I want to do with my films. Zeitlin also moved to New Orleans and helped create a filmmaking community, Court 13. They made many shorts together and finally made this tiny film that went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2012. But after all of that, I didn’t love Beasts of the Southern Wild. I really wanted to, but I never made a real emotional connection. I know I’m in the minority here. Most people I respect truly loved the film (including our own Christina), and I’ve spent a couple of months trying to figure out why Beasts of the Southern Wild didn’t resonate with me. Continue reading

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My Film Heroes

It’s tough enough just starting out in this business, so why not have a list of all the people who are the best at what you aspire to do? Instant inspiration!

Ava DuVernay (Writer/Director, I Will Follow, Middle of Nowhere and Founder of AFFRM)

An inspiration because: I’ve met DuVernay three times, each at an important stepping stone in my budding career. Each time I’ve felt that if I even had the opportunity to hover around the inner circles a game changer like herself dominates in, then I’ve got to be on the right track. Her message had me hooked from the beginning: “We don’t need permission.” It has been my mantra ever since. She has stood behind those very words, building a platform movement know as AFFRM (African-American Film Festival Release Movement) that distributes 2 films a year: her personal projects and work by new artists of color.

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