Thursday, January 11, 2018

Object Collection - 'What's The Problem' video - Fugazi stage banter based opera It's All True coming to NYC in February



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About the project (from YouTube page for the video above) - "Grounded upon the DC post-hardcore outfit's 1987-2002 Live Archive series, composer Travis Just and writer/director Kara Feely's work uses only the incidental music, text and sounds, none of Fugazi's actual songs. An obsessive leap into 1500 hours of gig detritus - random feedback, aimless drum noodling, pre-show activist speeches, audience hecklers, police breaking up gigs - is the foundation of an ear-body-and-mind-flossing 100 minutes for 4 voices/performers, 4 electric guitars/basses and 2 drummers. It's All True is overloaded, maddening, mundane, properly funny, and a radical incitement to action."

More info about the fascinating project here - http://www.brooklynvegan.com/opera-based-on-fugazi-live-recordings-coming-to-nyc-in-february/

Also here - http://lamama.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/objectcollection.pdf

Buy tickets here - https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/984122

Sunday, January 07, 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

January 2018 is on!

A lot of new projects on the way.

By end of this month Breakthrough Weekend should be released.  Will post link when ready.

And we are shooting Agnes the Alien this month.  As soon as the weather gets a little bit better than 'insane frozen over hell' level :).  I hope to be able to release that movie to film festivals at the end of Jan/early Feb.

Brooklyn Fantastic will be edited in January also.

Let's see what we get done, from the list above, by the end of the month :).

- S

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Check out excellent naturalistic indie movie WHALE on Amazon

Here's the trailer for WHALE:

Whale_movie trailer from Amir Motlagh on Vimeo.
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Check out the movie on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Whale-Amir-Motlagh/dp/B01DTIKG62/

About the movie -

Cameron is a 29 year old Iranian American, heartbroken and suffering from a never ending bout of writers block. But shits no joke to our hero, who goes back to mommy's house in Orange County California trying to figure out what went wrong with his life. Will reacquainting with his old high school friends steer him into the right path, or do all signs point toward suburban oblivion?
-The film uses a cast made up of mostly non-actors, including Motlagh's real life parents. Many of the cast were first seen in Amir Motlagh's first short film, Dino Adino (2001). By using an alternative narrative style, the film destroys the lines of fiction and documentary by engaging the audience in a way that traditional narrative fictions cannot.
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“WHALE is beautiful in ways I never expected. Lyrical and delightfully lo-fi” Lucas Mcnelly
“WHALE is what Truffaut called the cinema of the future.... It has talent and ambition to spare; Motlagh knows exactly what he wants and he knows how to get it. He's not afraid to be personal, to be slightly obscure and elliptical, to use the freedom that independence gives him. whale is definitely worth seeing and considering for filmgoers and filmmakers alike.” Tom Russell
“Pulsing with a restlessness of purpose and Vision” Alejandro Adams
“The acting/non-acting is so flawless Whale appears to be a blend between documentary footage and a foreign/art house project....I can very comfortably say that Whale is one of the most exciting & well made indie films I’ve seen in a while…creating an interesting/reflective image of ethnic & economic diversity in America.” Sujewa Ekanyake
“Writer/Director Amir is a fresh cinematic voice from the west coast. Distinctly schooled in technique yet has a unique approach to aesthetic over narrative. The film was more of a poem then a tradional story and I love that!” Ryan Balas
"First, let me start off by saying that Whale, written and directed by Amir Motlagh, is a visual masterpiece. It is shot and edited in my favorite style of dynamic camerawork done with an amazing flare for composition and coverage, and immediately draws you in.......Yes, I love Whale. I love it because the characters and dialogue are more natural than 99% of Hollywood movies made. I love it because the scene between Cameron and his ex is one of the best and most realistic scenes I've seen in a long time. Reid Gershbein
“Whale is a shockingly sweet and disturbed look into the soul of self. It left me empty and full of hope at the same time” Ali Sabet
“The fuckers on to something” Natalia Fernandez


Monday, December 11, 2017

How to be happy

1 - Appreciate existence

2 - Decide to be happy (decide that you would like to be happy, then look for reasons and methods to make that happen - see #3)

3 - Find a ton of reasons to be happy - easy to do, they are all around - in past, present, and the possible futures

4 - Take action that leads to results that make you happy

5 - Be happy

Hope everyone has a great holiday season!

- Sujewa

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Agnes the Alien movie Facebook page link, update on other projects

Started work on a new film - a sci-fi comedy feature, no budget (but awesome) called Agnes the Alien.  Here is the Facebook page for the movie - https://www.facebook.com/agnesthealienmovie/.
We hope to finish shooting the film and edit it by the end of January and start sending it out to film festivals in February.

Werewolf Ninja Philosopher update - We did 1 make up test on 12/1.  Prepping for another one.  Other prep work continues until the end of Feb.  We hope to shoot in March, and edit and complete in April and start sending the movie out to film festivals in April.

Breakthrough Weekend update - BW got a great review from Village Voice back in 2014, and it played the Breakthrough Festival NYC at Anthology Film Archives in 2014, and now the new version of the movie is almost done.  We hope to release it on Vimeo and then on other platforms at the end of December.

Brooklyn Fantastic will be edited this winter and sent out to festivals this winter.  More info on that movie later this month.

And that is the latest on 4 movies that I am working on now!

- Sujewa

Friday, November 24, 2017

Sunset Park At Night - Panasonic VX981 footage

Tried out a new camera for a bit a few nights ago.  The Panasonic VX981 - a baby 4K camera/palmcorder.  Pretty good.  Here are some night time footage, w/ very little post work (some exposure correction, increased saturation).  Much better footage coming in the near future as I get to know this camera better.  Also looking forward to trying out the JVC 170 camera.

Sunset Park At Night (camera test Panasonic VX981) from Sujewa Ekanayake on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

1977 Interview with Eric Rohmer (who made his first feature (that he did not disown) around age 46 - the 40s are the new 20s :) )


1977 Interview with Eric Rohmer from zenfoolio on Vimeo.

Filmwax Radio podcast/Adam Schartoff wants to cover 365 indie films in 2018!

The always excellent indie film podcast Filmwax Radio, created by Adam Schartoff, wants to step up their game and cover 365 indie films in 2018.  Plus Schartoff is launching a set of new projects that he calls Filmwax Radio 2.0 - find out more about those at the Filmwax Radio Kickstarter.


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Here's Schartoff on the Filmwax Kickstarter and Filmwax Radio 2.0 project:


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Help make it happen for Filmwax Radio - go check out the Kickstarter campaign, donate, share.

- Sujewa




Saturday, November 04, 2017

The Meyerowitz Stories is very good

Note - I saw the movie before the Dustin Hoffman sex assault allegations story broke.  Not sure what kind of an experience I would have had watching the movie had I knew about the allegations.

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Great movie, well written, well acted.  An interesting NYC experience.

Trailer - 

Check out the movie at Netflix - https://www.netflix.com/title/80174434

Silver Bullets is pretty good

It's an art film about the making of a werewolf movie and also about the making of another art film about a relationship.  Interesting - with some comedy, drama, romantic drama, and horror elements.  But, definitely an art film - so go in with no expectations, and expect an interesting ride.

Check it out at Amazon here - https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Bullets-Kate-Lyn-Sheil/dp/B00BP4VZP4

Here's a trailer -


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And here's a review by Richard Brody at New Yorker - https://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/joe-swanberg-in-berlin

Sunday, October 01, 2017

My new films on the way - Oct, Nov, Dec 2017 - and NYC screenings in June 2018

1st one is an old one, first screened in 2014 - Breakthrough Weekend - should be out on VOD in Nov.

Then it's another old one - Brooklyn Fantastic - filmed in 2009 - should be out on VOD or heading to film festivals at some point in December 2017.  I'll decide on which route once I see the final version of the movie.  Also I'll have to see if I want more than one title heading out to film festivals at the same time.

Third film is Werewolf Ninja Philosopher.  We hope to film it in November, finish by early next year, and send it out to festivals before mid-January.  Werewolf will screen theatrically in NYC in June 2018, hopefully after a lot of festival play in spring 2018.  More details on the June 2018 screenings in December 2017 or January 2018.

That's what's ahead for me on my films.  Good times, looking forward to it.  Finally a new wave of DIY film productivity :).  Hopefully we can keep it going uninterrupted for many years to come.  That would be grand.

- Sujewa

Saturday, September 16, 2017

COMPUTER CHESS - another weird and good movie - trailer and link



Watch it here.

- Sujewa

How to make it DIY + weird (mostly re: the DIY part in this post)

DIY 2017 film movement - definition/how to do it (this is our version of the Dogme 95 manifesto :) )

9/15/17
  • written by sujewa ekanayake

(about the weird part - make it unusual - subject matter wise - surreal, a monster movie maybe, sci-fi perhaps, undefinable cult weird perhaps - something other than a romantic comedy set in the real world or a drama set in the real/normal world.  we'll know weird when we see it)

(this list is mostly to encourage people - specially artists, minorities, women - people who are not favored by the established film business in various countries - to make movies.  if we limit the development process, keep it small, keep it art making focused/based, we may be able to make more movies more often and distribute them - each movie like an unusual piece of art)

if the director, on a fiction feature film (only applies to fiction films, not documentaries) 

1 - writes the script

2 - produces the movie

3 - directs the movie

4 - shoots the movie (or plays a very significant role in capturing the images, designing the images)

5 - edits the movie

6 - fundraises, including fully or partially self-funding

7 - creates the promotional material, and does some or all promotional work 

8 - distributes the movie (either self-distributes or has a significant role to play in all distribution decisions) 

9 - makes the movie for a very low budget

10 - uses relatively unknown actors
  • using famous actors is OK if the director organically knows them - friends from the neighborhood, social media friends, etc.  or if the actors just come out and audition for the roles.  or if the actors want to help produce, market, distribute the movies.

then it is a DIY 2017 movie

why?  this is to encourage more diverse voices from around the world to make and distribute movies

and to encourage people to practice filmmaking as an art form that can mostly (most important decisions and work) be made by one artist

the film must be feature length (72 mins or over, ideally 90 mins) - it’s a greater challenge

  • ideally the films will have a diverse cast
  • and a diverse crew
  • and will largely ignore critical opinion, public opinion, industry opinion, including film festivals
  • - it is fine to participate in the film criticism world, go after a large audience, and go after film festivals, etc - but those things are not necessary to be considered a success within this new genre
  • should be interesting to some people besides the director - from 100 to 10K to 100K to 1 million people or more

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BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND Teaser Trailer

DATE NUMBER ONE on Vimeo VOD

Indie Film Blogger Road Trip

At DIY Filmmaker Blog's Facebook Page

Followers

BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND Teaser Trailer on Vimeo

Breakthrough Weekend teaser trailer on YouTube

Good Reads