Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Maryland New Wave

Todd Rohal's '06 feature The Guatamalan Handshake + Michael Tully's '06 feature Cocaine Angel + Sujewa Ekanayake's '06 feature Date Number One = The Maryland New Wave

'cause when was the last time such 3, at the very least very interesting, high quality indie features came out of Maryland at the same time/in the same year? I do not recall. I do not think it's ever happened. All 3 films are being received well by some very important peeps in the indie film scene: audiences & or bloggers/reviewers & or film fest programmers.

If we are the MD New Wave (on the fiction features front), who is the old(er) wave? I guess John Waters & Barry Levinson. Two rocking local or local rooted filmmaking gentlemen. Love that Diner & the entire highly entertaining career of John Waters.

Dig it cinema studies people & bloggers (& film fest programmers & art/indie venue programmers, distributors, reviewers, cool audience members), dig it, get in on this sexy action pronto while me, Mike & Todd are still relatively unknown & relatively poor (i think, not sure about that one re: all 3 of us) 'cause I am sure we'll get busy very soon doing interviews for French film magazines & flying to Europe & Asia for special events :) :) :)

- Sujewa


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7 comments:

Mike said...

i have to disagree with you regarding the 'relatively poor' comment, at least with regards to me. it should actually read 'humiliatingly poor.' other than that, a great post, and i'm proud to be a member of the Maryland New Wave! just wait until this summer, when i shoot my next project in this lovely, lovely state...

The Sujewa said...

" A man who'se got a quality feature done & has a blog on the mighty indieWIRE is very close to a nice chunk of cash "

- ancient NW DC proverb

Sam said...

Just came across this blog via your comment on Caveh Zahedi's blog. From DC myself. (And a big fan of "Diner", for that matter.) Regarding Maryland filmmakers, how about Rob Tregenza? I haven't had the chance to see any of his films, but with the approval of the likes of Tarr, Godard, and Rosenbaum, he should be near (or at?) the top of any list of locals. Martha Colburn also used to live in Baltimore.

The Sujewa said...

Hey Sam,

Thanks for the info. I'll have to see who Rob is, do not know him or his work yet. Name does sound vaguley familiar though.

Hopefully one of the things I can work on is coming up w/a comprehensive history of MD/DC area indie filmmaking/filmmakers. I know that there were a wave of indie filmmakers in DC area in the 60's & 70's. Then in the 80's/90's? there were the Beta Punks (beating Dogme 95 for making features on video). Let me know if you know of any local indie film histories -in print or on the web.

MD & DC area is so populous(5 mil peeps or so), an indie industry that caters mostly to the locals is probably viable. We've got more people here than in some small European countries.

Later on.

- Sujewa

Sam said...

Can't say I'm too familiar with the history of local filmmakers, or know of a written history of such - I'd be curious to know what was done, especially in the '60s and '70s. In more recent days, one can't forget Jeff Krulik. I also think that Brian Frye lived in DC recently, maybe still does.

The Sujewa said...

As far as I know at the moment Jeff's movies are docs, not sure about exactly what kind of movies were made in the 60's, 70's locally - I'll have to fiugre out where I got the idea re: there being indie filmmaking in DC in that era (maybe from Dave Nuttycomb's writings? - will have to see).

All that aside, what's happening now w/ Todd R's & Mike T's & my movies is pretty unprecedented as far as I can tell. 3 low budget indie, DV fiction feature movies all debuting in the 1st half of a year, all from MD in very significant ways & all being well received - as mentioned in the original post. An event worthy of special recognition I think.

MD/DC area has always been known for doc work, and aside from Blair Witch, very few fiction work from the area has received a lot of outside attention (or much local attention for that matter). Guatamalan won an award at Slamdance, Cocaine premiered at Rotterdam & Date so far played in Seattle (& DC) & got some excellent audience responses & an excellent review (an LA based reviewer/blogger is about to publish another review - very positive one - should be on line tomorrow). And exhibition & distro on all 3 movies have barely begun! If things continue the way they have for all 3 films, I think MD/DC area indie filmmaking profile will be raised much higher by the 3 flicks.

- Sujewa

Mike said...

We can't forget about Doug Sadler either, whose SWIMMERS made a mark at Sundance and beyond, and is a really fine achievement.

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