Saturday, December 10, 2016

How I ended up working with puppets in space for most likely a year or more OR the start of my adventure with Matt Zoller Seitz's movie Space Rabbit

Space Rabbit storyboard panel
Sujewa Ekanayake working on budget
for Space Rabbit with Stephen, one of director 
Matt Zoller Seitz's puppet friends
Sujewa, Stephen the puppet, and Matt discussing the
budget for Space Rabbit
Matt receiving advice from Stephen on how to budget 
for the needs of the puppet cast members


Over 10 years ago a then little known film critic and filmmaker named Matt Zoller Seitz sent me his first feature "Home" to review on one of my blogs.  It was a pretty good first feature, and I kept in touch with Matt a bit over the years - easy to do thanks to Facebook and other social media.  About a year ago I ran into Matt on the subway in Brooklyn.  This was only the second time in real life that we hung out or met up - the first being back in 2007 during a film blogger meet up in NYC.  Anyway, at the subway meeting we briefly and quickly got caught up on news on our various creative projects and made vague plans to hang out in the near future and went our separate ways.  Months later, after realizing - due to a Facebook post - that we lived just a few blocks from each other, we met up for coffee at a diner in Bay Ridge to discuss filmmaking related things.  Prior to the meeting I did some Googling on what Matt has been up to and I found out that he is a prolific writer and has sort of turned himself into a unique public figure/cultural figure - with his own Wes Anderson art style portrait!

In the past few years Matt has accomplished the following and more:  "Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor-in-Chief of He is also the TV critic for New York Magazine and, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and television has appeared in The New York Times,, The New Republic and Sight and Sound. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine, and the co-founder and original editor of Press Play, an IndieWire blog of film and TV criticism and video essays."  For the more, see his bio at  At our meeting at the diner I told Matt about Breakthrough Weekend and the various other films and other creative projects I've worked on during the last few years and my plans for 2017.  On his part, other than his views on the political stuff that we discussed; related to the recent election, Matt kept going back to a movie project that he wanted to do - featuring puppets in space!



Matt's puppets in space movie or Space Rabbit turned out to be an amazing, funny, possibly very entertaining and accessible project idea.  I came to the conclusion that even if the movie turned out to be a difficult one to make that it is a great idea to try to bring to life.  I gave my assessment on the project to Matt - what it may take to make the movie, possible ways it could be done.  A couple of days later Matt hired me to produce the movie; to get everything together for Matt/the director to shoot the movie and to make "the trains run on time"/make the production happen - something I've done several times in the past and something that I enjoy doing.  

That was about 3 weeks ago.  In that time we came up with a timeline for the project, started several websites & social media pages related to the project, had several script meetings, started collecting resumes and contact info for potential cast & crew members, created a budget and started planning out a fundraising strategy and a production strategy.  Space Rabbit the movie project has launched.  I ended up being a part of it because I like to try to make real friendships happen with interesting and good people I meet in the independent film world; I try to keep in touch with them - and I kept in touch with Matt over the years, and because, really, who would want to say no to working on a sci-fi space adventure featuring puppets? :)

More on Space Rabbit soon, at this blog, as we get things done over 2017 and 2018.

- Sujewa

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ava DuVernay | '13TH' Press Conference | NYFF54

Candlestick trailer, link for movie at Indie Rights Movies

Check out Candlestick at Indie Rights Movies

A Deeper Shade of Blue trailer, link for movie at Indie Rights Movies


Check out the movie at Indie Rights Movies

Druid Peak trailer, link for movie at Indie Rights Movies


Watch Druid Peak at Indie Rights Movies

- S

Atlanta episode 7

Pretty good - funny, unusual format.  Watch it at FXNOW.

- S

9 Full Moons trailer, link to movie at Indie Rights Movies


Watch 9 Full Moons at Indie Rights Movies

On Cinema: Jim Jarmusch | NYFF54

Texas Heart trailer, link to movie at Indie Rights Movies


Watch the movie at Indie Rights Movies

- S

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Indie Rights launches new movie channel

Check out the channel here -  Subscription to watch hundreds of great indie movies available at a low cost ($4.99/month starting), with a 3 day free trial period. Movies available on many devices, through Roku, also VHX app. Details here.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Check out NYC art/indie/foreign film screenings at Screen Slate

Visit Screen Slate - tons of info on great movies screening in NYC everyday.

Where the 1 Million Art Film Fans Are

We are all over the world.  And there's way more than 1 million of us.  Here's where some of the art film fans are - on Twitter:

1 - Cannes Film Festival, Twitter - 274K followers -

2 - Berlinale - 38.9K followers -

3 - Sundance - 659K followers -

​4 - Filmmaker Magazine - 83.2K followers -

5 - NYFF - 15.4K followers -

6 - SF Film Society - 22.6K followers -

7 - Locarno Film Fest - 39.5K followers -

​At this point we are already at over 1 million people.  And there are hundreds more Twitter accounts out there related to art film.

Lav Diaz on Long-take Aesthetics

1 Million Art Film Fans Blog

Check it out here

New website for films by Sujewa Ekanayake

Check out Wild Diner Media's new website here -

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

"Suddenly surrounded by Van Nuys and LAPD cops. Guns drawn, helicopter spotlights out." - Jerry Brewington on making indie action comedy LA Willy-Nilly

A Conversation with LA Willy-Nilly writer/director Jerry Brewington

The new indie action comedy feature LA Willy-Nilly has been completed and is currently being submitted to film festivals.  Director Jerry Brewington sees screenings and VOD, DVD distribution for the movie in the near future.  The movie itself is a wild LA adventure.  And the making of the movie was also apparently an adventure of its own - sometimes a dangerous one.  We spoke with Brewington about the film and related matters.

By Sujewa Ekanayake

Jerry Brewington

Jerry Brewington (3rd from left) with part of the cast & crew of LA Willy-Nilly

Sujewa:  Jerry, what were you doing before you made LA Willy-Nilly?  And
what other movies have you made or have you worked on?

Jerry: Well Sujewa, I am a English Lecturer by profession but I have been writing and making short movies for quiet awhile. My main focus is on writing but I have made a few shorts on 16MM and digital, worked as a reader and script editor, and have written several full-length screenplays. I produce and direct-more out of necessity!  But you can get an idea of my efforts from my IMDB page.  LA Willy-Nilly is my first feature film.

Sujewa:  Can you briefly describe LA Willy-Nilly for us?

Jerry:  LA Willy-Nilly is a love letter to the city of Los Angeles and how winners can become so-called "losers" and vice-versa. It is about a suicidal actor's last day in Los Angeles.  An actor who just wants to say good-bye to the city he loves and hates, but who runs into one crazy adventure after another revolving around a mysterious refrigerator. The film is set in cars which traverse the whole of LA - from east to west and top to bottom.

Sujewa:  Why did you decide to make this one your first feature?  What did
you like about the idea?

Jerry:  I love LA not so much for the city itself, but for all the crazy, sweet, addled, talented dreamers I have met there. I wanted to capture a day in the life of these people's lives - these Angelinos who spend an enormous amount of time in their cars.

Sujewa:  How did you approach the screenwriting process?  How many other feature length scripts have your written prior to this one?

Jerry: I approached the writing of La Willy-Nilly within the traditional three-act structured screenplay (goals, stakes, urgency) but as a viewing of the film will quickly show, I often sometimes veered off course to let the characters 'navigate' the story themselves, which for better or worse, I thought fit the story. I have completed three full length screenplays and have began a thousand others :).

Sujewa:  How were you able to raise funds for this project?  What did you
learn from that experience?

Jerry: This is the part I personally find uncomfortable. Art, craft is a highly subjective thing, tastes vary, etc.  So raising money for a micro-indie feature with no recognizable "name" often comes down to friends and family chipping in out of love and friendship. I feel an enormous sense of obligation to make the best film I can for them whilst being true to my vision. These two things do not always go hand in hand alas, but if one is honest about the film and it's nature, artistically and financially, to investors upfront, then the chips will fall where they may.

I have learned from this experience that certain subject matter is not for all, and that there are even some people who don't care a fig about films (gasp!!).  My passion and vision are certainly not others' passion and vision. One need not get melancholy about this.

It just is.

From LA Willy-Nilly

Sujewa:  What difficulties did you run into when you filmed the movie?

Jerry: Godz, what difficulties did I NOT encounter (LOL).  First, I was not supposed to direct or produce this film. I was the writer so I thought I would just say "here it is" and go have a beer and stare at the sky.


Several producers and directors passed on the project because I did everything I was not supposed to do when creating a micro-indie film:

1.) I had 14 actors instead of the usual 2-3
2.) I set the film in nearly 22 locations instead of 1-3
3.) I shot the film in cars from the beginning to end-Mobile sets
4.) I shot the whole film on the Go-Pro Hero 3 camera

Any filmmaker in their right mind would have walked away I suppose-except Werner Herzog maybe- so being the stubborn person I am, I took over the producing and directing reins myself, ummm, for better or worse.

In terms of production, we made the mad decision to use the Go-Pro as it saved a ton of $$ and (we thought) time. proved challenging in terms of framing the picture and, both suffered from using that silly sports cam favored by extreme sportsman who are probably perennially high, but there it is. That's one reason post took forever.

Do not use wireless sound whilst driving around. Power lines, cell phones kill it and you the filmmaker, cast, and crew will go mad as a hatter when you have to redo the perfect take.

From LA Willy-Nilly

Sujewa:  I head that you landed in jail while making this movie?  How did
that happen?

Jerry:  Yes, I did. We were filming a chase scene in an old movie theater/strip mall parking lot in Van Nuys. I told the amazing actor to simulate a shot-gun blast from the seat of the moving truck whilst it was chasing the limousine. The amazing actor completely leaned out of the window of the truck and let fly with simulated gunfire (?!).

Amazing shot, but while we were packing up we were suddenly surrounded by Van Nuys and LAPD cops.  Guns drawn, helicopter spotlights out.

The blood drained from my head; face down, cuffs, the whole nine yards. Prop weapons confiscated, a dressing down by the Van Nuys Chief for not getting a filming permit, reckless behavior, general dumba&*%ery.

Down to jail I went - not only the Van Nuys jail as they transferred me to LA County jail!

A rare experience I don't recommend unless well, unless you are a Werner Herzog kind of filmmaker. So much for my Go-Pro budget saving measures!

Sujewa:  The movie is a wild LA adventure.  Was that the type of movie that you thought this would become?  Is that the general genre that you plan on working in for future projects?

Jerry: I wanted it to become a kind of "The Big Lubowski" meets "Midnight Cowboy" but if I fell short, hopefully La Willy-Nilly caught some of the spirit of those fine action-comedy films. The fine group of actors I worked with were amazing in helping me capture something of what I wanted to achieve. I love action-comedies and 'dramedies' and absolutely plan to write more films in those genres in the future.

Sujewa:  What are your distribution plans for the movie?

Jerry: I know LA Willy-Nilly backwards and forwards, virtues and fault lines, so I have an inkling of the path the film might take. Having said that, I would like to do a very limited festival run for exposure, peddle it to on-line subscription services, VOD, etc. I want as many people as possible to see it and maybe get a buck or two back to the investors.

Sujewa:  What words of advice to you have for filmmakers thinking about making a low budget action comedy feature?

Jerry: Hmm, be smart and get the best "name" actor you can afford - even if it is only for one day. It is sooo necessary for getting traction on your project unless you have a high-concept that is going to blow everyone out of the park.

This is the reality of filmed entertainment for commercial purposes in the current age.

Write your script 'smart', which is to say write with production in mind - what you have, what you can realistically get for your project.

But you know what?

It is your project.

Express exactly what you say in your projects with passion and discipline and you will have achieved success.

From LA Willy-Nilly

Sujewa:  Can you talk a bit about your next film, future projects, that you are planning now - if any?

Jerry: I am living in Doha, Qatar now and am working on a sports screenplay about the 2022 World Cup which will be held there. This is on assignment but I am working on a spec screenplay about a comedy about a Southern California Cult and a dramedy about a very strange rehab program. :)

For more information about LA Willy-Nilly, visit the film's Facebook page, Twitter, & website (a new website with more info & photos coming soon!).

Friday, July 08, 2016

NEW WiFi Doorbells from Rintercom - amazing deals on a great product

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or visit our showroom in brooklyn!

similar to skybell wifi doorbell, ring wifi doorbell, door bird wifi doorbells

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sunday, May 01, 2016

The Case Of The Three Sided Dream - Rahsaan Roland Kirk documentary on Vimeo VOD

The Case Of The Three Sided Dream from Monoduo Films on Vimeo.


The story of multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk; who went from blind infant, to child prodigy, to adult visionary, to political activist, and finally to paralyzed showman. A seemingly superhuman musical force who played literally until the day he died.
Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1935-1977) was more than a blind musician who could play three horns at once, more than one of the most exciting and amazing sax players who ever lived. Beyond the ability to play multiple melodies at the same time, he was a warrior against racial injustice, fought for people with disabilities, and was a tireless campaigner for a wider appreciation of Jazz (what he termed Black Classical Music).
Packed with electrifying archival footage of Kirk and his music, intimate interviews, and inspired animated sequences; Kahan’s film is an absorbing look at the man who wouldn’t even let partial paralysis keep him from pursuing what he called “The Religion of Dreams.

New project - exploring the Vimeo VOD catalog

Vimeo VOD seems to have a lot of interesting titles.  I took a brief look this morning, titles Mira, Apls look good.  They say they have 30,000 or so movies.  So, in the coming weeks, I'll post about interesting looking movies that I see on the Vimeo VOD catalog.  Check them out here -

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

2016 Films, 1 Feature A Year Goal, & how the goals of the DIY Film Revolution are now easily achievable

This blog was started in 2006.  Back in those days the idea of making, marketing, distributing an independent feature film on an ultra low budget, outside of Hollywood/Indiewood was still a major challenge.  Those days are now over.  Now, with the proper planning and preparation, it is possible for an indie filmmaker to make & release at least one feature film a year.

The developments in crowdfunding over the last several years (Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Seed & Spark, etc), the coming into being of several ultra low budget films that have gained national & international attention (see Quiet CityLord Byron, All the Light in the Sky, 25 ultra low budget films by Rick Schmidt on Fandor, & many other examples out there) and the emergence of great self-distribution options such as Vimeo VOD makes previously difficult goals of the DIY Filmmaking Revolution (a whole lot of us attempting to master filmmaking & distribution around 2006) now achievable.  Plus the existence of a well developed Internet, marketing & finding collaborators through Facebook & other social media sites (see Ultra Ultra Ultra Low Budget Filmmakers group), & the existence of thousands of how-to videos & articles (see No Film School, YouTube filmmaking videos, etc) makes real indie filmmaking a lot easier now.

That being the case, my goal starting this year is to make & release at least 1 feature length film a year.  I am starting with Breakthrough Weekend (currently being edited) - should be released in May. Then following up with the completion & release of Brooklyn Fantastic (filmed, needs to be edited). After those two projects I hope to shoot a new film this year (latest working title is Happiness Level Infinity).

More info on the films coming as they get completed and released.

- Sujewa

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

How Senator Bernie Sanders Can Win the Democratic Nomination for President

By Sujewa Ekanayake

According to my math (see details below), based on the figures available on the linked documents - wikipedia page - dem presidential primaries 2016, ny times page - primary results - if Sanders wins the rest of the states at 55% (& Clinton gets 45% of the vote) - on average - Sanders will end up with 2053.75 pledged delegates to Clinton's 1997.25 pledged delegates. Then at the convention there's 709 super delegates that each candidate can go after to try to get the 2383 total that they need to win the nomination. So Sanders has to go to the convention with the greater number of pledged delegates to justify the super delegates coming to his side for him to get the nomination. This is no doubt only 1 of many possible paths to the nomination at this point. Regardless of the path, all of them will require a lot of work by Team Sanders & supporters. But, as we saw with Michigan last night, amazing things are possible :).

The math - 
1 - total pledged delegates available - 4051, 
2 - at present sanders has 544, clinton 762 = total - 1306 delegates, 
3 - available in upcoming contests - 2745 delegates, 
4 - 55% of that number = 1509.75 delegates, 
5 - 45% of the available # = 1235.25 delegates, 
6 - 55% or 1509.75 + current sanders's 544 = 2053.75, 
7 - 45% or 1235.25 + current clinton's 762 = 1997.25 delegates, 
8 - total needed for the nomination = 2383 pledged delegates, 
9 - unpledged/super delegates = 709, 
10 - sanders needs 329.25 super delegates to win the nomination, 11 - clinton needs 385.75 super delegates to win the nomination.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Interview with Team Metrograph

About the new indie theater in NYC.  Read at indieWire.

- S

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Full Film Courage Interview with filmmaker Zoe Cassavetes

In the Shadow of Women | Trailer

Film is playing now at IFC Center.

The Revenant Q&A | Alejandro G. Iñárritu - Film Society of Lincoln Center

Bernie Sanders - The Legacy of Dr. King video

Streamed live on Jan 17, 2016
Watch this live stream of Sen. Bernie Sanders, State Sen. Nina Turner, Dr. Cornel West, and Killer Mike as they discuss Martin Luther King Jr., his legacy, and the relevance of his work today. 

FULL Democratic party presidential debate, 1/17/16

All the Light in the Sky trailer

Finally saw All the Light in the Sky.  Pretty good movie.  Slow, but good.  Here's the trailer.  The movie's on Netflix now.

Monday, January 18, 2016

About the whole #oscarssowhite part 2, 2016 thing

1 - Hollywood or the mainstream American film industry has always been racist because, well, it's the film industry of a historically racist country.  And, unlike many other industries in the US, for some reason, Hollywood has not yet been legally forced to integrate.  As such, non-white talent being
shut out of Oscars is to be expected.

2 - Instead of there being 1 Hollywood in a massive, rich, diverse country like the US, there should be multiple Hollywoods.  Sure, the old Hollywood is racist, but nothing is stopping people from organizing a new Hollywood or Hollywoods where diverse talent is used in front of & behind the camera.  All it takes is money, the desire to make & distribute movies, & the desire to create movies that reflect the country's diversity.  Make it happen interested people.

3 - Without diversity, & without true competition, the quality of work & the state of the art form suffers.  Why is most Hollywood entertainment bad?  Perhaps it has to do with many Hollywood projects not dealing with the diverse world that we live in and or constantly looking back to an all-white or mostly white or white dominated past.  Also, when all non-white actors and filmmaking talent are removed from a competition, is it really a competition?  The awards become even more meaningless than usual when entire groups of people are shut out of them.  An Oscar for being the best white actor is not as good as an Oscar for being the best American actor - from a true, inclusive, diverse pool of talent that reflects the diverse nature of the country.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

making malcolm x

good short video about the spike lee movie (follow link below to watch on vimeo):


a scene from upcoming Star Wars spin-off series Kylo Ren, The Brooklyn Years

See clip here.

- S

the later seasons of Girls are pretty good

season 4 is funny.  season 3 is pretty good.  when Girls first came out i did not like the season 1 eps that i saw.  but the later seasons are much more interesting, funnier, sharper, better written, acted, shot, & edited.  here's season 4 trailer.  show available on hbo go:

Master of None is pretty good

funny show.  on netflix.  check it out.  here's the trailer:

Happy New Year!

Much DIY/indie film activity ahead this year :).  For now, let's celebrate the start of 2016.



Indie Film Blogger Road Trip

At DIY Filmmaker Blog's Facebook Page


BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND Teaser Trailer on Vimeo

Breakthrough Weekend teaser trailer on YouTube

Good Reads