Tag Archives: festivals

Gatekeeper QOTD: Mark Elijah Rosenberg (Rooftop Films)


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Where Are The Brown Women Filmmakers? (Tribeca Edition)

A weekly spotlight on inspiring female directors of color and their latest projects.


2013 Tribeca Film Festival (April 17- 28th) New York, NY

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Where Are The Brown Women Filmmakers?

A weekly spotlight on inspiring female directors of color and their latest projects.


Frances Bodomo

Witnessing Frances’ journey so far makes me want to climb back in the director’s chair. I was blown away by her short “Boneshaker” at Sundance and during the annual SXSW “Women in Cinema” panel, she spoke with such passion about her clear focus of telling stories about Africans and determination to work with non-actors of African descent. Next stop for the film: Nashville Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, NYU’s First Run Film Festival and NY African Film Festival. Oh and she’s currently Kickstarting for her next short, “Afronauts”. Holler if you got a dollar, folks!
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Where Are The Brown Women Filmmakers?

A weekly spotlight on inspiring female directors of color and their latest projects.


Haifa al-Mansour
I have been hoping her film “Wadjda” would continue shining on the festival circuit ever since I saw the premiere at Telluride last year. It is a sweet, yet complex story of a young girl named Wadjda who simply wants a bike. Fun fact: al-Mansour’s first fiction feature is also the first feature to be directed by a female Saudi filmmaker and filmed in Saudi Arabia. Definitely a feat to be celebrated, folks. After playing last week at Beirut Film Festival, the film will screen next at Tribeca Film Festival in April.
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4 Fests You Should Enter This Week

16th Annual Brooklyn Film Festival 

Regular Deadline: February 22nd

“Accepting submissions in five competitive categories – Features, Shorts, Documentaries, Experimental Films, and Animation – BFF offers something for film lovers of all backgrounds and interests, unfolding against an urban backdrop rich with character, history, and limitless surprises.” 

website: http://www.brooklynfilmfestival.org/submit/
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Sundance 2013 Filmmaker Quote of the Day: Lynn Shelton

“I don’t know any filmmaker who embrace the term mumblecore. By grouping us all together, it’s kind of unfair, like grouping all films that cost $8 million and have a written script and 35 mm film are all the same. At the same time, the usefulness, I recognize – it brought attention to small films that no one would have paid attention to.”

– Lynn Shelton, Director (TOUCHY FEELY, U.S. Dramatic Competition)


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Unchained at Sundance 2013: Week 1 Tweet-Cap


Pretty much everyday, I have to pinch myself. A year ago when I was blogging on my iPod Touch in a hotel lobby about my first trip to Utah to volunteer at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, I never imagined I’d be back in Park City for a second round of this amazing cinematic summer (winter?) camp. This time I’m working as paid staff so my schedule is a little more scaled towards work than play. I still want to share this experience with all those that can’t be here. Excuse the post full of tweets, but I know I won’t be able to tackle full reviews and reflections during this chaos. Hopefully for those not following me or the blog on Twitter, I can at least provide the highlights of my time here so far.

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

It’s Our Birthday!
One year ago this week, we launched Indies Unchained. With close to 28,000 views on January 2nd, we’ve officially turned 1! Thanks to everyone for reading and sharing during our first year.

Our new “Unchained Resources” page
Who says you need a film degree to make it in the biz? Here are a few of our our favorite web links for all things indie film. Any others we should add?

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4 Fests You Should Enter This Week

New York Screenplay Contest

Next Deadline: December 20th

Entry Fee: $30

“The New York Screenplay Contest is a global screenwriting contest designed to launch careers and provide recognition and network opportunities to the world’s best new voices in screenwriting for film and television.  The New York Screenplay Contest awards its winners with cash, prizes, sponsorship packages, and meetings with leading industry professionals.”

Accepts Features, Shorts, Stage Plays, TV pilots & Treatments

website: http://newyorkscreenplaycontest.com/submission
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Take Your Films On The Road with “Southern Circuit” Screening Tour

Banner-square no years

“As the nation’s first regional tour of independent filmmakers, Southern Circuit (from South Arts) provides filmmakers with the paid opportunity to participate in a six-venue tour of the Southeastern United States, screen their films for new audiences, and engage audiences in discussions about the content and production of their films. Southern Circuit is composed of four separate Circuits, each with six filmmakers (for a total of 24 filmmakers) who travel (by air & auto) to an estimated six communities each throughout the Southeastern United States. The Circuit tours take place the months of September, October, November, February, March, or April. Filmmakers will tour an estimated 7-10 days.”

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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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Fests You Should Enter This Week (Turkey Day Super-Edition)

NexTv Talent Search for Directors & Actors

Regular Deadline: November 23rd

“We are searching the globe for tomorrow’s industry leaders. How often does it seem that you are up against a system designed to keep you from accessing the people who need to see your work? If Hollywood is always looking for fresh, new talent, why is it so difficult to get past the gatekeepers?Nextv has created this competition to bring industry leaders to you. By promising them a first look at some of the most exciting talent that the system has not yet recognized, we have attracted an incredible panel of decision-makers that can equal exposure at the highest levels.”

Entry Fee –  Submission Video Length:

Under 3 minutes – $40

3 – 10 minutes – $45

Over 10 minutes – $55


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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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Wanna Volunteer for SXSW 2013? Apply Today!

South by Southwest (SXSW) Music, Film and Interactive Conference

Austin, Texas

March 8th-17th, 2013

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4 Fests You Should Enter This Week

Bluecat Screenplay Competition

Final Deadline: November 15th (*must be received by midnight PST*)

BlueCat provides every screenplay entered with two written analyses by professional readers. Over $20,000 in cash prizes awarded to our winners and finalists.”

Entry Fee – $70


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Trailer Watch: Toronto International Film Fest edition

It’s almost August which means “Man-Buster Summer” is coming to a close and every premiere film festival from here until December is a sure goldmine for Academy-worthy gems. I like to call it “Oscar Autumn”. I’m not actually going to be attending the Toronto International Film Festival in September but I’m still eager to follow along with event updates. After the official program was announced yesterday, I saw that Matt Rorabeck of Movie-Knight.com had gathered many of the lineup’s trailers in one wonderful post HERE. A big thanks to Matt for moving so fast on this. I’m excited to see the page grow as more trailers are released.

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We need to talk about VOD

I used to look down on VOD (Video-On-Demand) or at least what I thought VOD was. I saw it as a contingency plan for films that weren’t good enough for traditional theatrical wide release. Boy, was I wrong. Today, I see it as practical way of distributing films with a reasonable budget. Ultra-low budget filmmaker Ed Burns has basically made this his signature move with recent films like NICE GUY JOHNNY and NEWLYWEDS. But just how does this VOD work?

It took some Googling but here’s a basic breakdown of your Video-On-Demand options:

  • theatrical release (usually limited) followed by VOD run
  • VOD (via iTunes, Amazon, cable, etc) run a few weeks before limited theatrical release
  • Day-and-date (simultaneous limited theatrical and VOD release)
  • Day-and-date and DVD release (essentially film is available on all platforms)
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It Pays To Have Fans: Brian Newman/Ryan Koo Conversation at VimeoFest

For those who couldn’t make it to the Vimeo Festival and Awards held last month, you can still watch the “The Art of Getting Paid” discussion with film/new media strategist Brian Newman and filmmaker/NoFilmSchool.com founder Ryan Koo for free on the event’s official Tumblr page. Not only can you view the entire video HERE, Brian posted the featured slideshow on his website HERE. Win-win! It’s an hour-long talk so I wanted to give some of my favorite highlights.

There were two key messages I took away from the panel:

  1. It’s 2012. The web is an indie’s best friend. Stop being afraid and embrace it already.
  2. Say it with me: Engage. Early. Repeatedly. This the equation for sustaining an audience in today’s Youtube and Kickstarter saturated market.
What I learned:
  • Brian opened the talk with the ever-popular Kickstarter phenomenon. Simply put, people who donate to your campaign are pre-buying your film. The smartest thing any filmmaker can do is to identify and involve their audience from the very minute you come up with the idea for the project.
  • Fun fact: Remember that “Charlie Bit My Finger” video that went viral? Yeah, it’s the most watched video that’s not a music video on the internet. 458 million views. Brian shared that the family of Charlie made enough money off that 1 minute video to buy a new home. Kinda makes you want to dust off your copy of “Monetizing Your Videos on Youtube”, right?
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