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Showing posts from 2017

FUROCIOUS! | WORST CUSTOMER EVER! - great doc about a delivery man (actually a comedy-horror short)

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. -Quotes- “WHALE is beautiful in ways I never expected. Lyri…

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

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 …

New work by Amir Motlagh - 'what do you know of water’s worth while standing on the banks of the euphrates'

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.

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.


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

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



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

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.

- Su…

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 s…

UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES - weird and good - trailer, link

Watch Uncle Boonmee here.

- Sujewa

ALPHAVILLE trailer and link

Watch ALPHAVILLE here.

- Sujewa

Film Trailer: Modern Love Is Automatic | Film 2009 | SXSW

Watch the movie here.

- Sujewa

Rian Johnson (The Last Jedi), Sujewa Ekanayake (Werewolf Ninja Philosopher) Interviews

I am looking forward to The Last Jedi.  Here's a great, recent interview with Jedi director Rian Johnson at New York Times.

Here's the trailer for The Last Jedi:


I am also looking forward to making my movie Werewolf Ninja Philosopher this fall.  Here is an interview I did with Filmwax Radio about Werewolf movie and crowdfunding.

Werewolf Ninja Philosopher is fundraising at IndieGoGo at the moment.  Check it out here, and if you dig it, support, share.

Here's my pitch video for Werewolf Ninja Philosopher project:

Werewolf Ninja Philosopher movie IndieGoGo pitch video from Sujewa Ekanayake on Vimeo.

Werewolf Ninja Philosopher movie

Werewolf Ninja Philosopher movie lead actor Art Shrian
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Help make this amazing movie happen!
"Earlier this year, while I was producing a wild puppet sci-fi project called Space Rabbit, I came up with a private detective comedy movie idea - about a character who has to investigate several show biz world murders in NYC.  Unlike in the regular world, in this version of NYC the following is true - art, indie, experimental, foreign filmmakers, and film critics, are the big entertainment world stars.  In the movie someone is killing art/indie filmmakers, and the city government cannot solve the crimes - so they call in a star private investigator to help them solve the mystery.  The private investigator they call on is a character named Werewolf Ninja Philosopher - a werewolf who has ninja skills - has fought and defeated evil ninjas in the past, and is also a character who teaches philosophy at NYU, and who uses his knowledge of philosophy to help people deal with their life problems.…

Why IndieGoGo is a better platform than Kickstarter for indie filmmakers

This can be seen as perhaps a critical post by some, so, let's get some basics out of the way first.

I like both Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, for different reasons, different projects.  And I am glad that both platforms exist, along with all other crowdfunding platforms, and I hope all of them thrive and continue to serve their customers well.
I have no official, professional direct relationship with either company (as in I do not work for either company, and I do not get paid from either company to promote them, but I do have personal accounts on each site for creating crowdfunding campaigns - just a regular user of the 2 sites).  I did however recently manage 3 campaigns on IndieGoGo (hired by individual campaigners to assist with their campaigns) - indie film or art film/foreign film related - and collectively those campaigns raised over $75,000 and allowed those projects to exist, come to life, move on to the next phase on the project.
I have worked on Kickstarter campaigns in t…

Live video update re: film, #3 - The Iranian-American Art/Indie Film "Underground"

The latest live video update, Indie Film Update From Brooklyn, ep #3 - The Iranian-American art/indie film "underground", including info on the work of Amir Motlagh (btw i keep looking at the top of the hill in front of me, some dudes started playing music after i started the video. so the lesson next time is not to face a hill, as my eyes may go up to scan the horizon, sorry about that distraction. but hey, the joy of these videos is that they are live, and one take, whatever happens, happens :) ) - https://www.facebook.com/sujewa.ekanayake/videos/vb.539218365/10154705732928366/?type=3&theater

Live video update #1 re: film - split screens festival, amir motlagh's indiegogo, sujewa films update

Check it out here, a Facebook live video - https://www.facebook.com/sujewa.ekanayake/videos/vb.539218365/10154701910048366/?type=3&theater

About the video: "indie film news update from brooklyn - #1! (kind of an fb live video test :) ) subjects - split screens festival at ifc center, Amir Motlagh's indiegogo for his 2 new movies, breakthrough weekend update, werewolf ninja philosopher update, a bit about the rough cut of a short film by Devin Negrete, & reflecting on fact that's it's the middle of 2017, still time to get a lot done this year ":)

Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco are amazing in HBO's new 1970s NYC porn industry story The Deuce

  A scene from The Deuce, featuring Maggie Gyllenhaal
Well, I hear it's about the porn industry in NYC in the 1970s, but I only saw the amazing pilot episode of the show on Friday night at the brand new Split Screens Festival at the IFC Center, and the pilot deals with the story before the porn industry aspect kicks in.  In the pilot episode we get to see several characters in NYC in the early 1970s; a prostitute played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, a bartender played by James Franco (who also plays his gambling addicted twin brother), and several more prostitutes, pimps, and various other people in their orbit.  In the pilot episode we see how things are for these characters on a day to day basis, and generally it ain't pretty.

This was the first time that I saw an HBO show episode on a movie theater screen.  That plus the production design of the show had me going "wow, this looks amazing, this really looks like NYC in the 1970s (as far as I can tell from visual documentation …

Split Screens Festival kicks off tonight

Festival happens June 2-8 at IFC Center.

Lots of amazing screenings and events for TV fans ahead.

All info here.


TV is the new art house, and here's a new festival about TV - Split Screens Festival at IFC Center

June 2-8, at the IFC Center, at Sixth Avenue & West 3rd Street in Greenwich Village.

About the festival: "Split Screens celebrates the art and craft of TV. Reflecting a moment when television has never been more innovative or accomplished, the festival will showcase the best of our current golden age of scripted shows, with directors, producers, showrunners and cast appearing in person for in-depth discussions about making great TV. Split Screens will also premiere episodes of eagerly anticipated new shows, as well as spotlight the next generation of DIY online creators whose work is pushing the form and content of episodic shows in bold new directions."  More here - http://www.splitscreensfestival.com/what-is-split-screens/

Festival coverage coming to this blog all week long.

Click below to take a look at the amazing line up of screenings and events:



Jon Moritsugu NUMBSKULL REVOLUTION! interview

Jon Moritsugu screening his films at RAMIKEN CRUCIBLE gallery in NYC in 2016
From About page at Jon Moritsugu's website:

Writer/director JON MORITSUGU has been making films since 1985. In 1989, Village Voice critic J. Hoberman called Moritsugu’s Brown University thesis short, DER ELVIS, one of the “Top 50 films of the 80’s.”


Since then, his features MOD FUCK EXPLOSIONMY DEGENERATIONFAME WHORESCUMROCKHIPPY PORN and PIG DEATH MACHINE have scorched eyeballs worldwide from Sundance to MOMA to Cannes to the Guggenheim to Berlin to the Whitney to Toronto to name a few. In 1993, James Schamus (former CEO of Focus Features) produced Moritsugu’s television comedy, TERMINAL USA, which aired nationwide on PBS. Visithttp://jonmoritsugu.com/about/ for more on this amazing underground film legend!
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Jon Moritsugu's 2012 Grammy nominated video for "no future shock" by TV ON THE RADIO:

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Sujewa - Hello Jon, Nice to have you back at the blog.  Tell us all about the new film that …

DIY Filmmaking in 2017 - In the Golden Age

It's a golden age for DIY filmmaking & distribution.  I define DIY filmmaking & distribution as one central artist - the director/producer/writer or the main filmmaker, or a group of artists - making films and making them available to interested audiences - specially feature length films - with or without help from Hollywood, large companies, the traditional film industry (relevant specially when done outside of the industry - or not letting lack of film industry help stop one's desire for making movies.)  It's as tough as ever to make a lot of money from independent filmmaking work, but, it is possible now to make and distribute your work relatively easily - compared to the first decade of the 2000s, the 1990s, the 1980s etc.

Now a filmmaker can shoot a film on his or her phone or other easily available high quality image making devices such as DSLRs, camcorders, and then release the movie on Vimeo or YouTube or eventually Amazon, iTunes, perhaps even Netflix, sta…

Help Make THREE WORLDS and MAN - 2 new films by Amir Motlagh Happen

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This campaign is raising money to finish and release the feature films THREE WORLDS and MAN. Those two films complete a project called THREE MARKS, TOO MANY SIGNALS. Filmmaker Amir Motlagh has created over 15 films to date. Motlagh's films are often fiction and documentary hybrids that examine modern life as lived by characters who are searching for meaning. Individual identity, family, assimilation, the past, creative struggles are some of the themes that Motlagh tackles in his work.
THREE WORLDS is a unique, introspective drama that delves into a character's multiple perspectives in different points of space and time.Time, history and his personal choices change the course of his existence.  THREE WORLDS is a drama using elements from science fiction to reveal a character trying to find his way out of a maze. MAN is a semi-scripted, slice of life story told in a fresh, experience centric style that explores a man’s relationship with friends and family in today’s technolo…

Unhappy with limited roles being offered, Amir Motlagh started making his own movies - THREE WORLDS and MAN interview

Amir Motlagh, from his film CANYON

Filmmaker, actor, musician Amir Motlagh has directed over 15 films to date. Motlagh's films are often fiction and documentary hybrids that examine modern life as lived by creative characters - often Iranian-American artists, played by Motlagh. Individual identity, family, assimilation, the past, creative struggles are some of the themes that Motlagh tackles in his work. We spoke with him as he prepares to finish and release two new features - THREE WORLDS and MAN. The two new features and a visual album called CANYON (featuring music by Amir's band MIRS) make up a project called THREE MARKS, TOO MANY SIGNALS.




knock. knock. (2007) from Amir Motlagh on Vimeo.
Plain Us (2008) from Amir Motlagh on Vimeo.
Khoobi (are you ok) - 2011 from Amir Motlagh on Vimeo.
Still Lover (2003) from Amir Motlagh on Vimeo.

DIY Filmmaker blog's Sujewa - Hello Amir.  Thanks for talking to DIY Filmmaker blog about your filmmaking career and new projects.  For people who…

Watch 11 films by Amir Motlagh here