Tag Archives: directors

Kickstarters We Love: ‘Her Story’ follows young couple through a terminal illness


It’s pretty clear crowdfunding is here to stay as a platform for indies to both finance their films and rally an eager audience. Success for many begins with the pitch video. One such project, “Her Story” does it just right. Curious backers are introduced to the Austin-based production team as well as main characters Rae and Carter, a young couple braving a tragic diagnosis. Thanks again to writer/actress Haley Alea Erickson (“Rae”) for giving us a peek behind the campaign. And most importantly, holler if you got dollar, folks! The team has already reached more than half of their $5,000 by June 4th goal. — Christina B.

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4 Fests You Should Enter This Week


…because all it takes is ONE festival screening to change everything.

2014 BlackStar Film Festival Screenplay Competition
July 31 – August 3
Deadline: May 15

This year’s short screenplay competition gives the winner the unique opportunity to have the script produced by BlackStar and directed by a renown director [Terence Nance, “An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty”]. To determine the winner, the finalists will be read by a prestigious jury of film industry professionals. The winning script will receive the BlackStar festival “greenlight” and will be read live at the festival by professional actors.

Short film screenplays must be written by a person of African descent.

Website: http://blackstarfest.org/screenplay-competition14/
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4 Fests You Should Enter This Week


…because all it takes is ONE festival screening to change everything.

Sidewalk Film Festival

August 22 – 24

Late Deadline: March 15

“The 16th annual Sidewalk Film Festival, a celebration of new independent cinema in downtown Birmingham, is set to take place August 22-24, 2014. Since its debut in 1999, filmmakers from across the country and around the world have come to Birmingham to screen their work at Sidewalk and have been thrilled to discover fresh, enthusiastic crowds eager to devour new independent cinema.”

Accepts narrative & doc features, narrative & doc shorts, animations and short screenplays

website: http://sidewalkfest.com/submit-a-film/
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4 Fests You Should Enter This Week


Fantastic Fest 
September 18 – 25

Early Deadline: February 20

“Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world.”

Accepts horror, sci-fi, fantasy, or related genre films (black comedy, crime, magic realism, action, suspense, etc) feature-length and short films.

website: http://fantasticfest.com/submit

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4 Fests You Should Enter This Week


Sarasota Film Festival 
April 4 – 13

Late Deadline: January 10

“SFF celebrates the art of filmmaking and the contribution of filmmakers by hosting an international film festival and developing year-long programs for the economic, educational, and cultural benefit of the Sarasota community.”

Accepts feature-length and short films (both narrative & documentary).

website: http://www.sarasotafilmfestival.com/2014-festival/submit-your-film
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4 Fests You Should Enter This Week


Atlanta Film Festival (March 28 – April 6)

Late Deadline: November 8 (must arrive at ATLFF offices or be uploaded by 11:59pm PST)

“Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF) is an Academy Award qualifying, international film festival held in Atlanta, Georgia. Started in 1976 and occurring every April, the festival shows a diverse range of independent films, including genre films such as horror and sci-fi. Since 2008, the festival has presented the Pink Peach, which is awarded to the best LGBTQ film as chosen by the Pink Peach jury. “The Accountant” won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 2002 after qualifying at the 2001 Atlanta Film Festival.”

Accepts narrative & documentary features, short films and music videos.

Website: http://atlantafilmfestival.com/2014-submissions/
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4 Fests You Should Enter This Week


…because all it takes is ONE festival screening to change everything.

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (Feb. 14 – 23)
Missoula, Montana

Late Deadline: October 20
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REVIEW: “The Spectacular Now”


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***This week’s guest post is from Erica Todd, a film lovin’ New Zealander-Austinite and programming apprentice for the Austin Film Society.***

Included in Austin Film Society’s fantastic August program was a special screening of “The Spectacular Now” attended by director James Ponsoldt. The film’s premiere at Sundance in January and showings at subsequent film festivals created quite a buzz.

The content of the plot is no big secret for viewers familiar with Tim Tharp’s novel, which provided the source material. The trailer, like many others that market contemporary films, also points to some of the major features of the film. “The Spectacular Now” is a coming-of-age story that places emphasis on teenage protagonist Sutter’s relationships using time as a thematic device.

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APPLY: Film Independent’s Directing Lab Wants To Help You Prep Your Next Feature


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Deadline: October 7 (no fee!)

Website: http://www.filmindependent.org/labs-and-programs/directors-lab/

“Designed to help directors who are prepping their independent feature films, the Directing Lab is an intensive ten-week program that runs in Los Angeles in February and March.
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My favorite festival hits coming soon to theaters, TV and DVD (August edition)


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“Mud” (Dir. Jeff Nichols)
Festival Premiere: Cannes 2012
WHERE TO SEE IT NEXT: DVD, Redbox, Netflix and iTunes

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4 Fests You Should Enter This Week


…because all it takes is ONE festival screening to change everything.

Ann Arbor Film Festival
March 25 – 30, 2014
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Early Deadline: August 19 (postmark)
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APPLY: San Francisco Film Society wants to help you make the next “Fruitvale Station” (by 8/14)


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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.”

Past Winners: FRUITVALE STATION, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, SHORT TERM 12

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4 Fests You Should Enter This Week


…because all it takes is ONE festival screening to change everything.

Sundance Film Festival (January 16 – 26)
Park City, Utah

Early Deadline: 
U.S. and International Short Films: July 29
U.S. and International Feature Films: August 9
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Where Are The Brown Women Filmmakers?


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The director of classic “I can watch it anytime” film LOVE AND BASKETBALL received a warm introduction from fellow filmmaker Malcolm D. Lee after joining Twitter last week. Here’s hoping for some behind-the-scenes tweets about her latest love story, BLACKBIRD. I love that more filmmakers are embracing social media. Such a great way to interact with fans (old and new).You can follow her at @GPBmadeit.

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So What’s The Deal With…Applying for Film Grants?


It suddenly dawned on me that although I’m always excited to post deadlines for film grant opportunities, it might be helpful for folks to hear from someone who’s actually won something. That someone is Darius Clark Monroe, a talented NYC filmmaker with Texas roots. He is currently in post-production on an autobiographical feature documentary titled “Evolution of a Criminal”. The project has received support from multiple organizations including Austin Film Society, Cinereach, Tribeca and IFP. A big thank you again to Darius for sharing his insight on navigating the world of film grants. — Christina B.

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Official synopsis: “Deep in the heart of Texas, what begins as an innocent tale of family, sacrifice, and financial hardship quickly escalates into a true-crime thriller. Fusing together compelling interviews, striking re-enactments, and home video, we are forced to ask ourselves how a 16 year-old honor roll student evolved into a bank robber.”

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So What’s The Deal With…Short Films on The Festival Circuit?


Following up on my recent post about film festivals offering opportunities to air on HBO, I reached out to NYC-based filmmaker Donald Conley whose short film SLEEP was a finalist for such a prize at the American Black Film Festival in 2012. A big thank you again to Donald for sharing his insight on navigating the festival circuit. SLEEP, which “explores the loss of adolescence and the psychological effect death has on the minds of young children”, will air again on HBO Go starting June 15th— Christina B.

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Photo by Lemia Monet.

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Hulu Is Streaming Akira Kurosawa’s Films Free This Weekend For His 103rd Birthday


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What a great way to celebrate what would have been the influential Japanese director’s 103rd birthday! 24 of Kurosawa’s Criterion Collection films will be available for FREE streaming this weekend on Hulu. I hope the internet doesn’t break.

What are your favorite Kurosawa flicks?

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To All My Homies About That Indie Film Set Life


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As a member of the XLR brotherhood, you have chosen a path many nine-to-fivers will not understand. Luckily filmmaker Tanuj Chopra (his feature PUNCHING AT THE SUN played at Sundance in 2006) is sharing a pretty great list of insightful “do and don’ts” for indie film set life.

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