News & Updates
by Paula Berstein via Indiewire
IFP has announced its 2014 slate of 133 new films in development and works in progress selected for its Project Forum at Independent Film Week.
"This one-of-a-kind event brings the international film and media community to New York City to advance new projects by nurturing the work of both emerging and established independent artists and filmmakers," IFP explained in the press release.
Under the curatorial leadership of Deputy Director/Head of Programming Amy Dotson & Senior Director of Programming Milton Tabbot, the Project Forum takes place September 14-18, 2014 at Lincoln Center.
"As we set to embark on our 36th Independent Film Week, we are impressed by the outstanding slate of both U.S. and international projects selected for this year’s Project Forum," said Joana Vicente, Executive Director of IFP. "We know that the industry will be as excited as we are with the accomplished storytellers and their diverse and boundary pushing films."
Featured works at the 2014 Independent Film Week include filmmakers and content creators from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. From documentarians Tony Gerber ("Full Battle Rattle"), Pamela Yates ("Granito: How To Nail A Dictator"), and Penny Lane ("Our Nixon") to Michelangelo Frammartino ("Quattro Volte") and Alexis Dos Santos ("Unmade Beds"), as well as new work from critically acclaimed artists and directors Aurora Guerrero ("Mosquita y Mari"), Barry Jenkins ("Medicine for Melancholy"), Travis Matthews ("Interior. Leather. Bar") and Yen Tan ("Pit Stop").
In recent years, Independent Film Week has helped to launch the first films of directors including Rama Burshtein ("Fill The Void"), Derek Cianfrance ("Blue Valentine"), Marshall Curry ("If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth LIberation Front"), Laura Poitras ("The Oath"), Denis Villeneuve ("Incendies") and Benh Zeitlin ("Beasts of the Southern Wild").
For the full 2014 Project Forum slate visit IFP's announcement here.
There are some changes to the program this year. For the first time this year, IFP is including web series in its programming, as well as spotlighting Latin & Central American artists and content with 15 projects featured across all programs in the Forum.
IFP and Durga Entertainment have partnered on a new $20,000 filmmaker grant for an alumnus of IFP. The grant is intended for active, working filmmakers who are also balancing a filmmaking career with parenting. The grant provides a $20,000 unrestricted prize to encourage the recipient to continue on her or his career path of making quality independent films. American directors or screenwriters working in narrative film who have participated in the IFP Filmmaker Labs or IFP Independent Film Week"s Emerging Storytellers or No-Borders International Co-Production market are encouraged to apply by the deadline of August 8, 2014.
Narrative Feature Highlights
Narrative features and webseries in RBC’s Emerging Storytellers and No Borders International Co-Production Market sections highlight new work from top emerging and established creative visionaries on the U.S. and international independent scene.
This year’s slate includes new feature scripts featuring directors Dev Benegal ("Road, Movie"), Alexis Dos Santos ("Unmade Beds"), Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin ("Now, Forager"), Michelangelo Frammartino ("Le Quattro Volte"), Terry George ("Hotel Rwanda"), Rashaad Ernesto Green ("Gun Hill Road"), Aurora Guerrero ("Mosquita Y Mari"), Barry Jenkins ("Medicine for Melancholy"), Alison Klayman ("Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry"), Travis Mathews ("Interior. Leather Bar"), Stacie Passon ("Concussion"), Yen Tan ("Pit Stop"), as well as up-an-coming actor/directors Karrie Crouse ("Land Ho!") and Peter Vack ("Fort Tilden," "I Believe in Unicorns").
Web Storytellers Highlights
For the first time this year, IFP presents a dedicated spotlight within the RBC’s Emerging Storytellers program for creators developing episodic content for digital platforms. The inaugural slate for the Web Storytellers spotlight includes new works from filmmakers Desiree Akhavan ("Appropriate Behavior," HBO’s "Girls"), Calvin Reeder ("The Rambler"), and Gregory Bayne ("Person of Interest"), as well as producers Elisabeth Holm ("Obvious Child"), Susan Leber ("Down to the Bone"), and Amanda Warman ("The Outs," "Whatever This Is"). Two of the series participating are currently in post-production, and will be making their online debut in the coming months – Rachel Morgan’s "Middle Americans," starring Scott Thompson, Carlen Altman and Alex Rennie, and Daniel Zimbler and Elisabeth Gray’s "Understudies," starring Richard Kind and David Rasche.
Spotlight on Documentaries Highlights
The documentary selection includes new work from seasoned non-fiction directors such as Emmy winners Robert Bahar and Almudena Carracedo ("Made in LA"), Pamela Yates ("Granito: How to Nail a Dictator"), Ramona Diaz ("Imelda; Don’t Stop Believin’") Gini Reticker ("Pray the Devil Back to Hell") Tony Gerber ("Full Battle Rattle"); from producers such as Court 13’s Benh Zeitlin and Dan Janvey ("Beasts of the Southern Wild"), Liran Atzmor ("The Law in These Parts"), Tim Williams ("Once In A Lifetime") and Hilla Medalia ("Web Junkie"), and follow-up second features from recent doc world "breakouts" Steve Hoover ("Blood Brother") Penny Lane ("Our Nixon"), Michael Collins ("Give Up Tomorrow") and Michael Nichols and Christopher Walker ("Flex is Kings").
In addition, there will be new work from debut documentary directors previously known for fiction films including the late Alex Sichel ("All over Me") with her personal doc "The Movie about Anna," Lisa Cortés (producer, "Precious") with "Mothership: The Untold Story of Women and Hip Hop," and Daniel Patrick Carbone ("Hide Your Smiling Faces") with "Phantom Cowboys."
Read the full list of projects here.
by Nick Holdsworth via Hollywood Reporter
photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/GettyImages
Oscar-winning director Davis Tavonic and designer and filmmaker Agnes B. will receive Heart of Sarajevo honors at the festival's 20th edition next month.
The Sarajevo Film Festival is to mark its 20th edition next month with three opening films and honorary awards for three leading filmmakers.
Actor Gael Garcia Bernal, designer and filmmaker Agnes B., and Oscar-winning Bosnian director Danis Tanovic (No Man's Land) will receive Heart of Sarajevo awards. Bernal and Agnes B. will receive their awards at the festival's opening on Aug. 15; Tanovic will be honored at the closing ceremony Aug. 23.
In an unusual move, the festival will screen three opening-night films to mark its 20th edition since it started in 1995, at a time when Sarajevo was still under siege from Serbian and Yugoslav Army forces. The first is Alejandro Inarritu's Amores Perros (2000), the story of an horrific car crash that connects the lives of three characters, and which features Bernal in his first film role.
Bernal will attend the screening and will also meet young filmmakers at the Sarajevo Talents program that runs in cooperation with the Berlin Film Festival.
The second opening-night film will be Agnes B.'s debut feature as a director, the tragic road movie Je M'Appelle Hmmm.
Finally, the festival will screen the omnibus feature Bridges of Sarajevo at the National Theater. Most of the title's ensemble directors, including Cristi Puiu, Aida Begic, Luis da Matta Almeida andJean-Michel Frodon, will be in attendance.
Other highlights include Of Horses and Men from Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson, which will play in the festival's Meeting Point Cinema.
"We will mark our jubilee by celebrating film, by offering a real treat to our audiences and all film lovers— it will be a true day of celebration," the festival said in a statement.
Listen to Andy Garcia's inspiring acceptance as he was honored with the NALIP Lifetime Achievement Award at the NALIP Media Summit 2014 Gala Awards!
2013 NALIP Lupe Award Winner Gina Rodriguez
via Variety and photo Just Jared Jr.
This fall, Gina Rodriguez makes history as the first Latina lead on the CW with her very own show, “Jane The Virgin,” a heartwarming new comedy about a 23-year-old girl with big dreams who gets pregnant after being artificially inseminated – accidentally!
We will be honoring Gina with the first-ever Variety Latino Rising Star of the Year Award at this Sunday’s Young Hollywood Awards, aka “the Oscars of Young Hollywood,” which celebrates the brightest trailblazing starts in music, TV, and film.
“We are so excited about the work Gina Rodriguez is doing in Hollywood and want to recognize that with this honor,” says Variety Latino editor Angie Romero. “She is smart, driven, uplifting, and empowering, and so are the characters she plays on the big and small screen, sending a clear message to Latina girls everywhere that they, too, are represented, and their stories are worth telling, too. Her being the first Latina lead on the CW with “Jane The Virgin” is groundbreaking, but it’s only the beginning. She is someone we’ll be talking about for years to come.”
Variety Latino recently sat down with the Chicago-born Puerto Rican beauty to talk about the show, premiering October 13; her red-hot career in Hollywood; and what she learned from the late Jenni Rivera, her co-star from the 2012 indie film “Filly Brown.”
by Afroxander via REMEZCLA
Lionel Messi. The name alone elicits a number of highly emotional reactions. Is he the best player in the world? Is he overrated? Most everyone has an opinion about his well-known footballing skills on the pitch. But how did a child diagnosed with a growth deficiency grow up to become the only four-time Ballon D’Or winner to date? Spanish director Álex De La Iglesia's biography-documentary Messi answers some of the questions about the athlete many refer to as “el mejor del mundo.”
Jorge Valdano, who won the 1986 World Cup alongside Diego Maradona, narrates the film which mixes real-life footage of Messi from age four to the modern day together with reenactments. Also included are interviews featuring a who’s who of the soccer world including Maradona, Johann Cruyff, Andres Iniesta, Gerard “Shakiro” Pique, and many others.
The film is a departure for Iglesia who is beloved by his cult following as a Basque version of Guillermo Del Toro. He debuted the film in Rio De Janeiro during the World Cup and the film will close out the Venice Days section of the Venice Film Fest later this summer.
There’s no word yet on whether the creators have inked a distribution deal but it’s probably only a matter of time before it makes its way to U.S theaters.
Are you all excited about the movie?
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by Dominic Patten via Deadline
In what was a wide-ranging panel “For me, it is very important for this show to have Latin characters and Mexican characters that defy the stereotype of gang bangers,” said Guillermo del Toro today at Comic-Con about his series The Strain.
In what was a wide-ranging panel discussion of the new show, the Mexican-born director wasted no time revealing to a packed Hall H his specific intentions for the characters of the vampire series. “I want Gus to become not only a complex character but a full-fledged hero who will kick some ass,” del Toro said of the just-out-of-juvie Augustin “Gus” Elizalde role played by Miguel Gomez. The director also noted that the sense of cultural difference was part of the casting of Mia Maestro and the Dr. Nora Martinez character she plays. “Her being a Latin woman and me being a Latin man, we are very aware of otherness and I thought she could be a good counterpoint to Eph’s (Corey Stoll’s Dr. Ephraim Goodweather) scientific method. “God willing, next season, we have a masked Mexican wrestler to also kick ass,” del Toro added to big laughs.
The vivid and highly stylized The Strain chronicles the NYC head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, played by Stoll as he, fellow scientists and others try to figure out a mysterious viral outbreak that seems to have arrived in America via a European-originated plane of seemingly dead passengers. There are, of course, other powerful forces, both of this world and the supernatural, at play in a much larger chess game that Goodweather is only starting to comprehend the fringes of.
Produced by Carlton Cuse, del Toro and Chuck Hogan, FX’s new series is based on the trio of vampire novels by the latter two. It debuted strong on July 13 with nearly 3 million viewers. Before the debut, The Strain stirred up some unintended controversy over the graphic nature of billboards advertising the show – billboards that FX took down after complaints. The billboards went down but viewership for the show went up to 4.72 million in Live+3 DVR ratings to hit cable’s top series premiere of 2014 for FX.
“We went full circle from Fox, but we removed the O and went with FX,” del Toro joked about how The Strain originally started out as a failed pitch at one network that became the novels and finally made it the small screen on another arm of the Murdoch empire. “FX has been the best possible partners we could have ever had,” added Cuse,“F**k the world, do whatever you want,” del Toro advised the audience on what experiences like the roundabout route to series have taught him over his career.
Along with del Toro, showrunner Cuse and Hogan, today’s panel also had cast members Stoll, Gomez, Maestro, David Bradley, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Ben Hyland and Jack Kesey. Appearing in an elaborate mullet wig when he came out today, Stoll made an appearance on Saturday at Marvel’s Ant-Man panel also in Hall H. The actor will play villain Yellowjacket in the Peyton Reed-directed big screen superhero pic alongside Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd. The former House of Cards actor also has a recurring role on the fourth season of Showtime‘s Homeland.
In a clear testament to frequent Comic-Con attendee del Toro, who was in Hall H yesterday for the Legendary presentation, today’s panel for the FX series may have been one of the last panels of SDCC 2014 but it was the first time a show has been in the massive room in its first season. To that end, the 2-hour panel started off entertaining the thousands with a well received screening of its third episode, which will be broadcast on FX tonight.
As they have before, both del Toro and Cuse talked about how they wanted the series to run for 5 seasons. The first 13-episode season would cover the story told in the first book. Books two and three split in half would make up the show’s remaining anticipated run. “We’ve used the best stuff from the books and invented the rest,” said Cuse of the transformation from the source material to more than 13 hours of TV for the first season. FX has not yet officially renewed the show for a second season, though that seems to only be a matter of when.
Daniel Alter, who partners with Umberto Gonzalez, aka El Mayimbe, on Comic-Con's Kings of Con party, is producing the movie via Vetted Media with Jeff Forsyth.
Just in time for San Diego Comic-Con, two convention veterans are teaming up for a digital feature action film.Vetted Media, a company co-run by Con-goer Daniel Alter and Jeff Forsyth, is producing and financing Breakneck, which was written by Umberto Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, who is also known as El Mayimbe on the entertainment site Latino Review and is known for his fanboy-centric scoops for the site, will make his directorial debut with the action-thriller.
The story follows a New York City bodega clerk who must go on the run from a corrupt private militarized company after discovering incriminating information and being framed for murder. The micro-budget series is eyeing a start date before the end of the year.
Vetted Media, a multiplatform production shingle founded by Daniel Alter and Jeff Forsyth, will produce the project as an episodic digital series on Vetted's YouTube channel, with the episodes being released all at once, similar to what Netflix does with House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. The film will also be rolled into feature length to be aired on SVOD platforms.
This won't be the first time Alter and Gonzalez have worked together — they've collaborated on the popular Kings of Con party at San Diego Comic-Con for the past three years. This year's VIP Con party takes place on Thursday night.
"One of the big verticals we really want to go after is the English-language Latino space. We felt that this is perfect for a digital platform because it's this fast-paced action-thriller," says Alter.
Vetted Media is planning for Breakneck to be a signature series for the company's planned vertical on Youtube, and with it's Latin lead, will serve as a huge cross-promotion with the company's English-speaking Latino vertical that it plans to launch.
The company also plans to launch comedy, animation and extreme sports-focused verticals. Forsyth and fellow executive producer Dan Jacobson are currently in preproduction on a new sketch comedy, with shooting set to roll next month. Vetted also intends to launch a lifestyle vertical with reality shows across various genres as well as content and news for gamers.
Gonzalez is repped by Innovative and Zero Gravity.