From Breakthrough Weekend, new comedy by Sujewa Ekanayake

From Breakthrough Weekend, new comedy by Sujewa Ekanayake
Breathrough Weekend coming June 12, 2017

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tons of info on releasing DVDs at John Reiss's Filmmaker Mag article

Check it out here.

Lots of info. in the article, could be very useful for DIY filmmakers & self-distributors.

I didn't see one option listed or talked about - selling DVDs through Amazon - by getting a Pro-Merchant account (about $40 a month) & it appears you have to have UPC codes on your DVD in order to list them on Amazon (i'll have more on this option at the end of Feb. after I've listed the Date Number One DVD on Amazon).

Check out Reiss's article at Filmmaker Mag.

- Sujewa

Box Elder review at Row Three

Curious about the touring indie/DIY filmmaker Todd Sklar's movie Box Elder? Then here's a review of the flick at Row Three. From the review:

"It gets a bit herky-jerky, but that’s of little importance as the genius is in the “it’s funny cause it’s true” style comedy. Inevitably, it doesn’t really matter when we are. What matters is what’s happening at that particular moment. For instance, one of the segments is simply titled “Junior Year” and is about a two minute long segment of two guys having a quick, inane conversation in a sandwich shop before we skip ahead to senior year. So some of the comedy lies simply with the editing and structure of the movie itself. Kudos."

Read the rest of the review at Row Three.

And here's the site for Box Elder.

- Sujewa

Lessons from Range Life

Todd Sklar talks about what he learned by doing 2 DIY tours with his movie Box Elder, at New Breed. In two parts - one, & two.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hal Hartley, Beat filmmakers, Alex Cox - 3 new film books from Soft Skull Press



Got a pleasant surprise in the mail today - 3 recently published books about film from Soft Skull Press - looks like I've got my winter film related reading . Here are the links to the work, flipped through all of them & can't wait to read each fully:

True Fiction Pictures & Possible Films - Hal Hartley in conversation with Kenneth Kaleta, by Hal Hartley

From Soft Skull's site: "Hal Hartley's comedies of unlikely love, trust, and social questioning have been provocative must-sees for the past two decades with critics and audiences alike. In this book of interviews with Kenneth Kaleta, Hartley reflects on the evolution of his filmmaking, elaborating on the forces he believes helped shape it and the ways in which his aspirations develop as time goes on, revealing a good deal of what it is like to be an independent creative artist in a commercially driven culture. This is an important resource for anyone interested in Hartley's filmmaking in particular, and in motion pictures generally." More at the site.

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Naked Lense - Beat Cinema, by Jack Sargeant

From the Soft Skull page for the book: "Celebrating the celluloid expression of the Beat spirit—arguably the most sustained legacy in US counter-culture—Naked Lens is a comprehensive study of the most significant interfaces between the Beat writers, Beat culture and cinema. Featuring the key Beat players and their collaborators including: William S Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Brion Gysin, Anthony Balch, Ron Rice, John Cassavetes, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Klaus Maeck, and Gus van Sant.

As well as examining clearly Beat-inspired films like "Pull My Daisy", "Chappaqua", and "The Flower Thief", Sargeant also examines verite and performance films ("Shadows", and "Wholly Communion"), B-movies ("The Subterraneans" and Roger Corman's "Bucket of Blood"), and Hollywood adaptations ("Heart Beat" and "Barfly").

The second half of the book is devoted to an extensive analysis of the films relating to William Burroughs, from Antony Balch's "Towers Open Fire" to David Cronenberg's "Naked Lunch". This book also contains the last ever interview with writer Allen Ginsberg recorded three months before his death in April 1997."


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X Films, by Alex Cox

From Soft Skull's page for the book: "Alex Cox is the genuine article: a radical, international, independent filmmaker who is also a good writer, an insightful commentator on contemporary cinema, and an expert critic of the power of Hollywood.

X-Films has as its center the filmmaking autobiography of a fine director, the journey through all his major films and how they were made, including his new film, now in production. Cox takes us to varied locations, including the US, Mexico, and Nicaragua, where he made Walker with the cooperation of the Sandinista government. His book is full of fresh ideas and rare insights into many films of different genres and the people he has worked with, including such greats as Dennis Potter and Harry Dean Stanton.

X-Films not only contains the confessions of a radical filmmaker, it is also the most readable working manual yet for the independent filmmaker. Enfant terrible he may be, but Alex Cox is also ahead of the game and is a pioneer and promoter of new forms of filmmaking for the cultural revolutionaries of the 21st century. He advocates work that is visual, visceral but interactive, with multiple narrative possibilities."


These books look great, specially for people interested in the past & the future of indie film in America, get 'em, read 'em, tell us all about them here in Comments or in your own blog or site.

- Sujewa

A.O. Scott's review of Medicine for Melancholy :: Jenkins interview at HTN

Scott's review is a good read, specially for fans of MfM, check it out at NYT.

Also, Mike Tully has a chat with MfM director Barry Jenkins at Hammer to Nail, check it out.

Chinese underground & indie films screening tonight in NYC

Get all the info. re: the event at Shooting Down Pictures.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

So you'll be at the Medicine for Melancholy opening tomorrow night right?

Pretty much all the cool indie filmmakers & fans that I know in NYC are planning on attending the Medicine for Melancholy opening at IFC Center tomorrow, so, it should be a fun event (and it'll be a great networking event for those of you who are into that kind of thing). Go check out Barry Jenkins' debut feature - a lot of film festivals have liked it - but don't let that stop ya :), & some people are throwing MfM in with Mumblecore - don't let that stop you either - MfM is more like a regular movie - it actually is a regular movie - with a plot, script, good acting, etc. - then an improvised non-scripted thing shot in a hipster apartment with hand held shaky-ness (not that there is anything wrong with all that stuff, I do like some of those movies, and some of my movies have those very same qualities at points - but this invite is to people who have not been WOW'd by the newest new wave of no/lo budget 'merican indies - your days in the digital video wilderness are over baby). Of course, like Stranger Than Paradise, it is best to approach MfM with low expectations - that way the flick will be an extra special discovery for you. Really, all hype & casual-ness aside, MfM is going to become an American indie classic - will become a part of the canon for several reasons. Go see it tomorrow so you can tell the new filmmaker kids in 15 years that you were there when it opened in NYC way back in early '09 (Mr. Barry Jenkins will probably be directing The Barack Obama Story - The HBO Mini Series then, or he'll be where Jim Jarmusch is now - career wise, probably). Trailer is below, here's the link to IFC Center's page on the flick, see ya at the show tomorrow! (i may not personally be there - in physical form, but, i'll be there :) Good luck tomorrow & with the coming weeks & months of theatrical & VOD MfM.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

IFBRT has been invited to screen at another film event

So it looks like the 2/17 World Premiere will not be the only US screening of Indie Film Blogger Road Trip in the near future. A programmer for a screening event saw the 9 minute clip from the film & said he wants to show the doc at his event - dates & details to be determined in the coming weeks. Once everything is set up, will announce the details here (I'll probably start promoting the next screening after the 2/17 event, makes it simpler). Nice to know that the doc will receive more promotion, from another source & another screening opportunity.

In the meantime, see ya on 2/17 at Anthology! It's gonna be a film blogger party yo.

- Sujewa

Trailer for When You're Strange, the Tom DiCillo directed documentary about The Doors

Looks great, can't wait to see it:



Check out DiCillo's site & blog here. When You're Strange premiered at Sundance '09. DiCillo is the director of several fiction features, including the indie filmmaking classic Living In Oblivion.

According to DiCillo all footage in the documentary is original material from the past, no re-creations were used. Sounds like a great project, no doubt specially for fans of The Doors.

- Sujewa

Women & Hollywood blog wins award

Read all about it at Women & Hollywood. Congrats to Melissa Silverstein, the author of Women & Hollywood.

Silverstein is featured in my doc Indie Film Blogger Road Trip.

- Sujewa

Need a list of cool video stores in NYC

A friend of mine wants a list of cool video/DVD stores in Manhattan, Brooklyn, & anywhere in or near NYC where he may be able to sell his movies. If you've got any suggestions, please leave them in comments. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Opening sequence from 1931 Brazilian film Limite



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Read about the movie at Shooting Down Pictures.

I'll be on The Obenson Report podcast February 9


Tambay & I will discuss Indie Film Blogger Road Trip plus anything else we want to talk about on the Mon 2/9 episode of The Obenson Report podcast.

Yeah, I am going to have to write a brief history of DIY film


'cause too many of the "new kids" (both in production & film writing) think DIY film - or working outside of Hollywood (& in more recent times indiewood) for production & distribution of movies started in 2005 with Mumblecore!!!! :) :) :) So, will have to look back in time to the days of Oscar Micheaux (pictured on top) & beyond (1930's & earlier), then more recently to Jonas Mekas & other 60's breakthrough NYC underground/indie/DIY filmmakers (Andy Warhol used the term DIY filmmaker in a book he wrote in the 70's or 80's, will have the title later), early efforts by John Waters, to Sarah Jacobson, Jon Moritsugu, & projects like The Last Broadcast, The Debut, Robot Stories, & more.

Leave suggestions on comments re: filmmakers & projects I should mention in my brief history of DIY film.

I'll probably have the post done at some point in early March at the latest.

Once the thing is done, when we see someone trying to re-invent the wheel we can point them to the post, and that may save a lot of time & confusion for folks.

- Sujewa

Monday, January 26, 2009

Real life still better than HD :: Blogger doc played well to a blogger who was not featured in it :: End of things & beginning of things

MONDAY NOTES

REALITY STILL BETTER THAN HD

As I walked out of a building in Manhattan this evening (near 49th St. subway station) I was struck by the various shades of blues & reds in the sky and towering buildings nearby. It was better than seeing a well shot scene on HD. Perhaps physically being there gave the moment added excitement - something that you don't get by watching an image on an HD monitor. So, still, at this point in time, seeing something in the flesh at a beautiful moment is better than watching an image of it on HD. That may not be for too long, perhaps, since image quality keeps getting better - but, for the moment, I am glad that organic still trumps tech.

KEVIN LEE SAW THE BLOGGER DOC

I played Indie Film Blogger Road Trip to Kevin Lee today & he, as far as I can tell, enjoyed it. He said the film will make for some lively discussions on 2/17 when it premieres at Anthology. Kevin will introduce the movie & will moderate the post-show Q & A on 2/17. I think that was the first screening of the doc that I've done for a blogger who was not featured in the doc - am happy with the results, and am fairly certain that other not-featured-in-the-doc-bloggers who see the doc on 2/17 will enjoy it.

END OF THINGS AND BEGINNING OF THINGS

In the next movie that I will shoot (in March), a character loses her job & then adjusts to that reality & goes looking for new work - so I've been thinking a lot about the role employment - being employed by a certain place - plays in the direction of our lives, our identities, & even our goals & dreams (sometimes certain type of work is an obstacle to greater things). Losing work sucks, as most of us will agree, but, there is the chance that it may lead to better things for a person. Hopefully that will be the future for Anne Thompson & Mike Jones - better work than the work that they had to leave behind.

- Sujewa



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Tambay Obenson's first film

Check out the short & the intro to it at The Obenson Report.

Also, couple of famous or soon-to-be-famous-in-indie-film-circles directors on the podcast version of the Obenson Report tonight from 8 PM to 9 PM - more on that here.



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Foreign Filmmakers' Guide to Hollywood

Twitch has a story about a new doc called Foreign Filmmakers' Guide to Hollywood.

Thanks goes to The Daily for the link.



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I definitely will not be buying anything from Lafayette Pastry in Greenwich Village

It reads like an Onion story, but sadly, it's happening in the real world - read all about a clueless idiot & his horrible name for a cookie at Village Voice and The Gothamist.

Angry Asian Man is angry about Avatar's extras casting call

Get the full story at Angry Asian Man blog.

UPDATE:

From NY Press blogger Jerry Portwood's post:

"And it’s not just Asians, even the Angry Black Woman is angry: “I’m holding out one hope — that this is some kind of messed-up viral marketing effort, maybe using reverse psychology to get people all riled up about the film so they’ll blog about it, etc. But if this is really the cast they’re planning to go with, I will definitely be boycotting this movie, and urging everyone I know to do the same.”

" No word yet from anyone who is angry for the simple fact that M. Night is actually being ALLOWED to make another movie. Hasn't he wasted enough time and money over the years with such horrendous failures as The Happening and Lady in the Water. The Last Airbender will, most likely, justly be forgotten."

Read the rest of Portwood's post here.

- Sujewa

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Primordial Metanarrative

Another short film by Yongsoo Park (writer & actor in this flick) & Jonny Stranger (director):





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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Indie Film Blogger Road Trip clip views pass 2000 mark

Check it out at YouTube. Pretty awesome for a project whose total audience I had estimated at being around two hundred souls.



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Egalite for All: Toussaint Louverture And The Haitian Revolution

On PBS this Sunday 1/25, 10 PM. From the PBS site:

"The Haitian Revolution was the only successful slave insurrection in history. Its leaders grasped the full meaning of French revolutionary ideas and used them to create the world’s first black republic. The event elevated a black general, Toussaint Louverture, to such international fame that admirers ranked him on par with George Washington. The movement has been called the birth moment of universal human rights. Vaguely remembered today, the Haitian Revolution was a hurricane at the turn of the 19th century, traumatizing Southern planters and inspiring U.S. slaves. ÉGALITÉ FOR ALL explores this history through music, voodoo ritual, powerful re-creations and the comments of insightful writers and historians."

From PBS.



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Barry Jenkins & Scott Sanders (Black Dynamite) on Obenson Report podcast Mon 1/26

Get all the info. at The Obenson Report. Here's a little bit of it:

"Your ears and mouths are requested next Monday night, January 26th, from the 8PM to 9PM hour, when my podcast, The Obenson Report airs live, via BlogTalkRadio.

Special guests for the episode include:

- Barry Jenkins, writer/director of the SXSW hit Medicine For Melancholy (a film that I don't think needs an introduction for those regular readers of this blog). Barry's film opens at IFC Theatres, here in NYC, next week Friday, and he'll be on to talk about the film, and much more, I'm sure.

And...

- Scott Sanders, writer/director of Black Dynamite (also a film that doesn't need an intro), which razzled and dazzled Sundance audiences earlier this week, and was quickly acquired by Sony Pictures for $2 Million, with a theatrical release planned for later this year. I'm certain Scott will have a lot to say about his film, and Sundance experience."

Read the rest at The Obenson Report.

- Sujewa



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Plan for dealing with film festivals for IFBRT & other '09 films

Starting today, this is the new plan for dealing with film festivals re: Indie Film Blogger Road Trip - read it at IFBRT's blog.

That approach will be the one also for other features that I will complete in 2009.

In late 2009 I'll review the '09 Fest Submission Approach & see if it needs to be adjusted for 2010.

- Sujewa



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Friday, January 23, 2009

MSNBC's Courtney Hazlett vs. Frozen River

Well, Hazlett can forget about being invited to host a FIND or Gotham Awards type show anytime soon (actually, she probably doesn't know what those events are, never mind - sometime you just gotta ignore ignorant people :) - get all the drama here.



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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Last link of the day re: a big project: Tom DiCillo interview re: The Doors doc

Check it out. Since I am a big fan of Living In Oblivion, it was impossible to resist the urge to link to an interview w/ DiCillo re: his latest film - a documentary about The Doors. Interview at Spout.

Alright, back to reading & blogging about no-budget DIY flicks :)

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Greg Mottola interview re: Adventureland

I guess it's Hollywood day here today, first the Krasinski post, now the link to Greg "Superbad" Mottola interview re: his new flick Adventureland. Check it out at Spout.


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Dude, Jim Halpert made a movie

The Office is getting a little stale (still funny, will be watching it 'till it ends) so probably a good idea for John Krasinski to branch out (though, I am sure my generation will forever think of him as Jim Halpert - even if he ends up playing Darth Vader in a Star Wars re-make in 2030) - and he has - Krasinski has directed a movie called Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. indieWIRE has an interview with Krasinski. From the interview:

"How or what prompted the idea for your film and how did it evolve?

I have wanted to adapt this book into a film ever since I first heard it out loud. In college, I was asked to be a part of a staged reading of the interviews. I can honestly say that, until that moment, I hadn’t really even thought about being an actor outside of school. It was in that one night’s performance where my personal definition of acting went from just “an opportunity to make my friends laugh” to this incredible sense of “being a part of something.” As cliché as that sounds, I had never been so moved in watching a theater performance, seeing how all the interviews worked as a group. David Foster Wallace, in my opinion, is one of the greatest writers we’ve ever had, certainly in the last twenty years. His obvious dominance of the English language is partnered with honest moments and the most beautifully dark sensibility. The result is an astounding book, and the most awesome material for an actor!"

Read the rest of the interview at iW.

- Sujewa


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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Get yer Chinese underground films on - 1/30 NYC


From Underground to Independent: New Cinema from China

The China Institute and dGenerate Films presents
On
Friday, January 30, 2009
6:30pm - 8:00pm
At
China Institute
125 E 65th St
New York, NY

View Map
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Contact Info
Phone:
2127448181
Email:
sinomatheque@chinainstitute.org
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"Join us for TWO SCREENINGS and a LIVE Q&A with insiders from the burgeoning Chinese indie film scene:

6:30-7:15 PMSAN YUAN LI (45 min, OU Ning, CAO Fei, 2003)

Equipped with video cameras, twelve artists present a highly-stylized portrait of SAN YUAN LI, a traditional village besieged by China's urban sprawl. Reminiscent of Dziga Vertov's THE MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (USSR, 1929) and Godfrey Reggio's KOYAANISQATSI (USA, 1982), China's rapid modernization is brilliantly presented, with fast-edited scenes choreographed to music. Commissioned by the Venice Berlinale, SAN YUAN LI explores the modern paradox of China's economic growth and social marginalization.

7:20-7:40 PMDIGITAL UNDERGROUND IN THE PRC(18 min: 6 episodes, 3 min each, Rachel Tejada, 2008)

On a mission to acquire films and seek out the best and brightest of the Chinese independent film scene, Karin Chien and Suyin So from dGenerate Films visited post-Olympics China in September 2008 Traveling from Shanghai to Nanjing to Beijing with cameras rolling, they found China's OTHER film community. Join them as they visit the largest underground film festival in China, explore the spirit of independence in Beijing, tour film compounds, attend a government-approved film event, and discuss the future of Chinese cinema. Karin Chien and other members of the dGenerate Films team will lead an open discussion.(Videos courtesy of Chunnel.tv and Berlin Cameron United/WPP)

ADMISSION: $5 for China Institute non-members, $3 for members.This film series is made possible through the generosity of the public and private grantors, and the support of the general public. All proceeds will go to the Education Department at China Institute to support future programming.
FREE popcorn and refreshments will be served and an open discussion will follow the screening.

Seating is LIMITED. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please visit www.chinainstitute.org/edu/sinomatheque for tickets.For further info, contact sinomatheque@chinainstitute.org or 212-744-8181 x150"
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Event listing on Facebook


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Lessons from recent YouTube drama

Kevin B. Lee has a lengthy post at Shooting Down Pictures about the lessons he learned from recently losing & then re-gaining his YouTube account. A good read for creatives who use YouTube a lot - and probably also for casual users. Check it out.

- Sujewa


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Poster for IFBRT premiere - final version




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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Outlaw film blogger Kevin B. Lee will introduce Indie Film Blogger Road Trip & moderate the post-show Q & A at 2/17 NYC premiere


Kevin B. Lee
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Kevin "Banned By YouTube" B. Lee, author of Shooting Down Pictures, will introduce Indie Film Blogger Road Trip - a documentary about film bloggers, at its World Premiere at Anthology Film Archives in New York City on February 17. Lee will also moderate the post-screening Q & A session/discussion.

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Thanks a lot for taking part in the 2/17 indie film blogger festivities Kevin!

- Sujewa


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BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND Teaser Trailer

DATE NUMBER ONE on Vimeo VOD

Indie Film Blogger Road Trip

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BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND Teaser Trailer on Vimeo

Breakthrough Weekend teaser trailer on YouTube

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