Film Organizations

TIFF 2014: Drafthouse’s Tim League on the State of Distribution and Oppenheimer’s “The Look of Silence”

At TIFF 2014, Courtney Sheehan meets up with Tim League to get his latest take on distribution.


Drafthouse picked up "The Look of Silence" at the end of August.

From his purview at TIFF 2014, Drafthouse's Tim League weighs what is and isn't apocalyptic about the future of distribution in a season of down box offices and new acquisitions such as Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence.

Forty-eight hours before Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence won the Grand Jury Prize at Venice (it’s also been awarded best film prizes from FIPRESCI and others), Tim League of Draft

Picture Motion Mobilizes Indie Film Audiences to Take Action

Ziyad Saadi takes a look at how Picture Motion works with indie films to create customized, relevant social action campaigns.


Photo courtesy of The Bully Project.

Remember how kids started sharing their bullying stories after the doc Bully came out? The NYC-based firm Picture Motion creates social impact campaign strategies to help independent films find audiences and affect social change. The documentary Rich Hill is one of their upcoming projects, set for release on August 1st.

With the digital age of cinema now pushing the boundaries of film distribution, the possibilities with which filmmakers have been presented are growing exponentially.

New York Jewish Film Festival 2014 - Critic's Choices

Kurt Brokaw picks his top choices from the 23rd New York Jewish Film Festival.


In "Ida," a Polish nun discovers that she's Jewish.

Of his NYJFF critic's picks, Kurt Brokaw writes that Ida "was the most closely watched film of this fest even before it opened," and The Jewish Cardinal "is a film any NYJFF devotee will find worthy of the closest attention." He's also added Regina and GentleDog to his list. The fest runs January 8-23, 2014.

How inspiring that The Film Society of Lincoln Center has partnered with The Jewish Museum for more than two decades in presenting world, US, and New York premieres of films from around the globe.

Do You Know Where Your Film and Video Masters Are?

Sandra Schulberg and Richard Pena are organizing the first IndieCollect meeting in NYC on December 9, 2013.


Preserving indie film is no small matter. Photo by DRsKulturarvsprojekt.

IFP founder Sandra Schulberg and former New York Film Festival director Richard Pena are spearheading a national initiative called indieCollect to save American independent films from extinction. The first meeting will be held on December 9th at 6 pm. Click here to learn about the meeting and about the effort, which is not limited to New York City.

Editor's Note: We are posting this email message from Sandra Schulberg at her request as a courtesy to our readers who share concerns over preserving and archiving independent films. We plan to follow this project and report more formally about its status in the future.

Begin message:

Film Festival Scholarship and Professional Networks on the Rise

The Film Festival Academy and Film Festival Research Network are two examples of how scholars and festival professionals are sharing knowledge and tools.


Film Festival Academy is a membership network of festival professionals and scholars.

According to Film Festival Academy co-founder Tomas Prasek, "I have seen so much useless competition in areas where collaboration would have benefited both parties...everybody says, ‘How do other festivals deal with that?’ and that's exactly what people should be asking through some kind of platform." He recently told The Independent's Courtney Sheehan why professionals could benefit from playing on the same team.

As international film festival circuits become increasingly visible online, scholarly interest in festivals as objects of study, particularly outside the US, continues to grow. At the same time, festival professionals are realizing the potential in forming collaborative partnerships through membership networks.

10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2012

The Independent chooses the 10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2012.

A still from <i>Losing Ferguson</i>, a film by one of the Independent's 10 to Watch in 2012, Trisha Gum.

The Independent shines a spotlight on 10 innovative filmmakers to keep your eye on this year, and coming years. We've got web series creators, animators, and filmmakers of all genres... and in the last month we've been releasing exclusive new extras on Facebook.

It's another year, and time to announce 10 filmmakers we at The Independent think you should keep your eye on. It's a varied group, to be sure, but each filmmaker has a few key things in common: talent, drive, and the desire to innovate.

State of the Film Industry in Southeast Europe

Courtney Sheehan reports from the third annual Cinelink forum at the Sarajevo Film Festival.


Oleg Novkovic's "White White World" is a transnational production of Serbia, Sweden, and Germany.

Tax incentives. Public and private funding. Transnational co-productions. During a year abroad to study regional film festivals and exhibition, Courtney Sheehan takes in Southeast Europe through the lens of presenters at the third annual industry Cinelink forum during the Sarajevo Film Festival.

For the past three years, film professionals from all over Southeast Europe have gathered at the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) to discuss the state of the regional film industry during the Cinelink forum, the track of the festival established for that purpose.

Exhibitor and Distributor FAQ: Seattle's Northwest Film Forum

Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum exhibits films, funds production, helps with distribution, and offers education and equipment to the independent community in the Pacific Northwest.


"The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle," produced with NWFF's Start-to-Finish Program.

Located in Seattle, the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) is an invaluable resource for independent filmmakers in the Pacific Northwest, providing production grants and access to equipment and post-production facilities. The Independent spoke with film programmer Adam Sekuler to get the scoop on how NWFF puts together its exhibition calendar and their support programs for regional filmmakers, as well as some thoughts on the future of independent film distribution.

Located in Seattle, the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) is an invaluable resource for independent filmmakers in the Pacific Northwest, providing production grants and access to equipment and post-production facilities. The Film Forum also boasts a 364-day exhibition calendar of independent films, many of which are hard to come by at other theaters in the region.

Funder FAQ: Playboy's Surprising Mission

Playboy is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, but we're guessing not many people know that the Playboy Foundation funds social change documentaries.


Bunny drawing by Ben Brophy.

You'll likely be surprised when you find out exactly what types of films the Playboy Foundation is passionate about making. A hint? Nudity is not a requirement.

Damned in the U.S.A. (1991)
Heart of the Matter (1994)
In the Family (2008)
The Most Dangerous Man in America (2010)
The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)
When Billy Broke His Head…. And Other Tales of Wonder (1999)

What do all these films have in common?

Struggle and Triumph for Haiti's Ciné Institute

Against all odds, students and faculty at Haiti's Ciné Institute use their cameras to transform pain and destruction into artful moving images.


The tent that functions as Ciné Institute's classroom.

In a special report for The Independent, Beth Brosnan speaks with students and staff of Ciné Institute, Haiti's only professional film school, about life after the region's devastating earthquake. Brosnan explores how, months later, they're using filmmaking techniques to cope with tragedy, rebuild, and even thrive in the face of adversity.

On January 12th, Haiti’s only professional film school, Ciné Institute, lost its main building in the massive earthquake that devastated the Port-au-Prince region.

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