Formerly: DIY Filmmaker Sujewa Blog - Werewolf Ninja Philosopher and other 2018 movies! DIY = Do-It-Yourself. DIY film = low budget indie films made and distributed by the filmmaker. This is a blog by filmmaker Sujewa Ekanayake. 2018 films - Werewolf Ninja Philosopher, Breakthrough Weekend, Brooklyn Fantastic, Agnes the Alien. Blog active since 2006. New name of blog - NYC FANTASTIC DIY/Art/Indie Films By Sujewa - BLOG - since 9/4/18!
"‘I’m Like the Last Leaf of a Big Tree’: A Conversation With Jonas Mekas
He was the Voice’s first film critic and a revolutionary figure in independent cinema. Now 94, he's still making movies, publishing books, and has big plans for Anthology Film Archives.
by BILGE EBIRISEPTEMBER 21, 2017" READ THE ARTICLE HERE
The visual work of LA’s own Amir Motlagh is something rivaled only by that of the more auditory variety. Artists come in all capacities and mediums. In a place like Los Angeles, the amount to choose from becomes so plentiful that standing out can be the first and last key step of one’s career. That said, it’s pretty safe to admit that the filmmaker shown off here has done just that. Matching a level of creativity with an equal amount of quality, the films of Motlagh have always fluctuated in style, tone and subject matter. While some tend to be stand alone pieces of cinema, others also have an extra utility attached to their existence. In this case, that utility I’m speaking of is that of the musician’s preference. In recent years, the idea of releasing a full length album or E.P. through the means of a visual counterpoint has become quite popular a…
In 2014 when I screened the then current version of my feature Breakthrough Weekend in NYC Village Voice reviewed it. For the most part a positive review. Ignore the first paragraph about image quality, perhaps the reviewer received a bad DVD screener, the image and sound quality of the movie is excellent. People will be able to see for themselves in late July of this year when I release the movie on VOD. Also the story about the German couple mentioned in the review may not be in the final version of the movie because we were not able to film a part of that story. Otherwise, great review :)
From the review - "...Breakthrough Weekend has audacity and poker-faced wit on its side; its wayward pacing and peculiar rhythms recall early Jim Jarmusch, though it has a New York–centric spirit all its own."
More - "It’s all pretty weird, and yet not as weird as it sounds. Ekanayake’s deadpan approach makes every event seem comically reasonable, especially for New York, a plac…
First, let's get the more fun of the 2 Do items out of the way - the trailer!
Alright, down to the details :) - Who is Scout Tafoya? Until a few hours ago I did not know that he made movies. But he said he released 6 features in the last year/recently. That's some hyper productivity (even in this digi-camcorder-blogging-24/7-work-age). I did run into Scout briefly at a party for Matt Zoller Seitz's puppet sci-fi movie Space Rabbit last year - but I did not know Scout made movies. Alright, the official intro to Scout as a filmmaker & critic, from Roger Ebert site -
"Scout Tafoya is a blogger and filmmaker living in Doylestown, PA. He writes for and edits the arts blog Apocalypse Now and directs both feature length and short films, many of which are free to watch at honorszombiefilms.com. His list of peculiar achievements include teaching a class on the cultural importance of zombie movies while in high school, lecturing on Dystopian sci-fi at Villanov…
From the Vimeo page - "As the commercial distribution of art cinema from around the world continues to drastically shrink—not only in the U.S., but everywhere—the main question for audiences and lovers of this cinema is a simple one: How can we see it? Movies don’t exist without an audience, and a movie is never really a movie until it’s presented on the big screen. This is where the film festival steps in. Festivals are where art cinema thrives, where artists and audiences can meet. Is this the future of cinema, and how can festivals make this future exciting and sustainable?
In the above video, filmed on April 7, 2018, Locarno Festival Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian sits down with Locarno in Los Angeles co-artistic director Robert Koehler to discuss what makes Locarno one of the world's great and most adventurous film festivals, the…
In the past people took Hollywood and other film and re-categorized it as art. That is a valid way to go - as underneath the epic financial and business structure needed for Hollywood filmmaking and distribution, there is a lot of creativity in the actual movies. The opposite can also be done. An art project that ends up creating a work that resembles, in some ways, a Hollywood or other film, is also valid. Art as film. The main difference being that an art project does not need to be made according to Hollywood rules or independent filmmaking rules. It can use work methods inspired by paintings (one creator typically), or experimental film (non-narrative, one creator typically) or art film (one or more creators, work is made for creative expression purposes primarily). The art work can be made for $0 or $1 million or more - whatever money the artist has available or whatever money the art project/the film requires. Once the work is completed it can be distributed …
Charlie Ahearn (Wild Style), Sara Driver (Boom For Real), Jessica Green (Maysles programmer)
* BOOM FOR REAL 5/2/18 Sneak Preview screening at Maysles Cinema, NYC - event notes
I had not watched a movie at Maysles Cinema before so I was excited to go see Sara Driver's new documentary BOOM FOR REAL, about artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, on Wednesday 5/2/18 night. I was glad that I got there early - the event sold out. Maysles Cinema is a small venue but when I sat down I was very impressed with the size of the screen. I am showing my new movie Werewolf Ninja Philosopher at Maysles 10/25-31 of this year, so it was nice to see that I would be screening at a great venue. All of the seats got filled, and the Maysles staff had to break out some folding chairs for the overflow crowd, and then the event started.
Maysles programmer Jessica Green gave a great introduction to the show.
Here are some thoughts I had about the movie:
I had seen a couple of documentaries about Basquiat and the …
Indie film has gotten kind of boring. That revolution may be over (it succeeded well). At present (and maybe always, since the 1980s) indie or independent film is an attempt to do what Hollywood is doing but at a low budget, and also it was an attempt (successful) to expand the type of stories that were being told, and to add greater diversity to the movies (also successful as of now). And was also a path to break into Hollywood (maybe not everyone wants that. hollywood is interesting, but also seems like a lot of work and money spent and dealing with a ton of problems to produce a limited range of products). But, by and large, indie film was always a Hollywood facing project (there are a few exception). What if the next wave of indie filmmakers looked in the other direction (but remain open to working with whoever wants to work w/ them - Hollywood, Netflix, Amazon, art galleries, small movie theaters, non-profits, ad agencies, ordinary people with interesting stories, community…
About the movie - "Thirteen-year-old Bea (Charlotte Salisbury) wants a best friend more than anything else, and when she meets rambunctious Kate (Lucinda Armstrong Hall), the pair form an unexpected bond that will change both of their lives forever. Ingrid Veninger’s PORCUPINE LAKE takes the time to explore the feelings and experiences of young girls with a thoughtful honesty that sets the film apart from most contemporary fiction, creating a story sensitive to the secret world of her characters, set during a fateful summer when adulthood has not yet arrived, but childhood is quickly vanishing." From page linked below.
Charles Borg is the co-producer of the upcoming Amir Motlagh feature films MAN and Three Worlds. Borg is also the co-writer and co-editor of MAN. The two films screen on 4/21 at Chicago Filmmakers.
A vision of time – through two feature films by Charles Borg
MAN is a film that explores the relationship between ‘man’ and technology and how that’s grown to the apex that it is today. The film hits on modern romance, which (in many cases, for the millennial generation and those to follow, at least) is shaped by tech. Simply put: this is a new world. Amir and I seek to create content that reflects that – in a realistic, gritty way. “Realism.” You may have heard this term as it’s related to filmmaking, but the idea is to never emulate other work. It’s about thinking outside the box. “Realism” was a movement. MAN isn’t trying to be that. It needs to be it’s own thing. Everything about MAN defies the ‘norm’ that most other films follow.
Post will be update until 4/21/18 and possibly beyond.
The basic info:
(media can e-mail me here for screeners, to be added to press list, etc - I am doing promo work for this screening)
TWO FEATURE FILMS - 'MAN', 'THREE WORLDS' BY AMIR MOTLAGH, PREVIEW SCREENING ON 4/21/18, 6 PM AT CHICAGO FILMMAKERS IN CHICAGO, IL
Award-winning LA based Iranian-American filmmaker Amir Motlagh, along with producing partner and Chicago based filmmaker Charles Borg, are set to preview two new feature films - MAN, Three Worlds - in a double feature screening hosted by Chicago Filmmakers on April 21st, 2018 at 6 PM in Chicago, IL.
I have been a long time fan and supporter of Amir Motlagh's film work. I screened his movies in Maryland a very long time ago - back in 2005 or so - when this century was still brand new. We are almost 20 years into this new century now, and Amir has just completed two new feature length films for 2018 release. He has made I believe around 15 or so films thus far - three features and the rest shorts. I liked the first film that he showed me - I believe it was Still Lover - and I've liked most movies he has made since then. Amir is a true art/indie/DIY filmmaker. Not sure if this is completely by choice, but he also does commercial work for clients, and works in the LA film industry. But, his own films, he makes those as a painter or a musician makes their work - in his own way, mostly by himself and at times with a small support team, and to express ideas that he is concerned with and to share his experience of the world, views of the world with others. His movies have…
From Chicago Filmmakers - "A double feature of two new films by Los Angeles-based filmmaker, musician, and artist Amir Motlagh and Chicago-based filmmaker, Charles Borg. MAN (2018) is a vertité-style day-in-the-life story about a computer programmer who lives a secluded existence in L.A.'s Laurel Canyon. His sole real-life companions are his two dogs; everyone else--friends, colleagues, family--he only connects with through technological mediation, via phones and computers. Three Worlds (2018) is a psychological science fiction drama that explores the three lives, or 'worlds,' or a man who undergoes an experiment that triggers haunting memories and alternate life 'memories.'"
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."
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 :).