Documenting the Mystery of Marie Jocelyne

An unpaid bill sent the filmmaking team of Dan Nuxoll and Martha Shane down the rabbit hole of a charming con artist and subject of their first feature documentary.

The many faces of Marie Castaldo appear in "The Mystery of Marie Jocelyne."

Her deception wreaked havoc with film festivals, exhibitors, and fancy LA restaurants. Marie Castaldo is the convicted criminal at the center of a documentary-in-progress by Dan Nuxoll and Martha Shane, whose sleuthing led them into their first feature project.

In August 2000, a newspaper in Upstate New York reported on a scandal-plagued local film festival. The article identifies several involved individuals, but names one of the alleged con artists at length: "claims were filed against...

Filmmaker's Journal: Crowd Funding in Cambodia

Jason Rosette reveals what it takes to get a historically-based narrative feature off the ground in Cambodia.

Director Jason Rosette conducts a screen test while casting "Freedom Deal" in Cambodia.

Jason Rosette reports from Cambodia in another installment of his Filmmaker's Journal, four years after his last update. Here he chronicles the ups and downs of getting what he calls his most ambitious project yet, the feature narrative Freedom Deal, off the ground in Cambodia, including the unique ways he's approached casting and fundraising.

I’ve been working in Southeast Asia since 2005, primarily in Cambodia, but also with time spent in Thailand and Vietnam, as an independent film media maker and practitioner for the past six-plus years.

Motherhood and Moviemaking (Not Always in that Order)

Filmmaker-moms Sara Archambault, Jenny Alexander, and Anna Fitch share behind-the-scene stories about the influence of motherhood.

Jenny Alexander with daughter Maya, who has already conducted her first documentary interview.

Motherhood can't seem to escape controversy, even on the weekend meant to honor them. Yet three filmmaking moms are quietly figuring out what it means to parent, work a day job, and manage a passion project, and have generously shared their perspectives with The Independent.

Sara Archambault has been thinking about how women in her life extend their roles as mothers into the way they think about social justice, fairness, and equality. As it happens, the women who came to mind are also making documentary films.

John Madden Acts His Age

Known for directing major movies, John Madden explains how "Marigold" breaks mainstream rules.

From John Madden's "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

Though he makes major motion pictures with traditional distribution, John Madden pushes against age bias with today's US release of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring only actors over 60.

Director John Madden, who started out in producing British television, has made a name for himself across the pond helming films such as Shakespeare in Love, Proof and more recently, The Debt.

Wim Wenders’ 3D Learning Curve: Dancers Take Flight in "Pina"

Neil Kendricks goes behind the scenes of "Pina" with director Wim Wenders.

Images from Wim Wenders' "Pina" explode in 3D.

As one of the first to embrace what Neil Kendricks calls the "immersive technology" of 3D, and with no fellow directors to consult, Wim Wenders morphs landscape into stage with his friend Pina Bausch's choreography as the centerpiece in Pina.

Wim Wenders’ films seduce viewers, leaving them punch drunk with his intoxicating imagery. Such is the case with Wenders’ Oscar-nominated documentary Pina, which blossoms as a cinematic poem of dancers in motion paying tribute to the filmmaker’s friend, the late choreographer Pina Bausch.

Coolidge Corner Theatre Honors Viggo Mortenson

Given annually since 2004, the Coolidge Award is one of many ways that Brookline's Coolidge Corner Theatre leads other indie cinemas by example.

Viggo Mortenson accepts the 2012 Coolidge Award.

He may appear small here but larger than life Viggo Mortenson accepted the 2012 Coolidge Award with grace and humility, according to The Independent's Mike Sullivan, who attended the ceremony celebrating Mortenson's accomplishments.

At least 45 different groups of film critics and professionals give out annual awards and it’s become part of the territory for heated debate to follow. Is the process fair? Do the right people win? Are awards just one more way to draw attention to celebrity culture?

Fever Dreams, Middle-Eastern Video Diaries, the Quest for Inspiration, and Memories on Tap

Neil Kendricks on the feature films from Sundance 2012.

Still from "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Sundance 2012 Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic winner.

"The cumulative effect of both [5 Broken Cameras and ½ Revolution] makes you feel like you are there vicariously experiencing the events from the filmmakers’ subjective vantage points," writes Neil Kendricks about two standout features from Sundance 2012. He recaps fest highs and lows, including Grand Jury Prize winner, Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Utah, PARK CITY – For filmmakers, screenwriters, video artists and actors looking for inspiration or funding, or both, the 2012 Sundance Film Festival was the destination of choice. I started making the trek to Park City circa 2001, and I’ve been going, on and off, ever since, always on the lookout for undiscovered diamonds in the rough.

Alchemy Springs from the Striking Artistry of Sundance Shorts

From hand-drawn stick figures to real life pirates, Neil Kendricks describes the most captivating shorts from Sundance 2012.

Anna Musso is a filmmaker to watch, according to Kendricks. (Still from her short "L Train" above.)

Lucy Walker’s The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom picked up Sundance's jury prize for short non-fiction and an Academy Award nomination. Hers is one of many shorts on Neil Kendricks' must-watch list from Sundance 2012.

Utah, PARK CITY – When it comes to challenging and adventurous short films, the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s mojo was in top form as the nation’s most prominent tastemaker for the state of indie cinema, both in America and abroad.

Approaches to End of the World Docs

Courtney Sheehan compares and contrasts the filmmaking elements used by two anti-progress IDFA docs.

Economic historian Michael Hudson appears in both "Four Horsemen" and "Surviving Progress."

Voice-over or not? When to animate? And where to leave your viewers? Two IDFA docs, Four Horsemen and Surviving Progress tackle the consequences of progress by making different stylistic choices.

Two social justice docs at IDFA targeted and systematically attacked the same universal villain: progress. Four Horsemen and Surviving Progress are both "big picture" documentaries that tackle some of today's most globally pressing issues.

Postcard from Northern Ontario

John Charette reports from Sudbury, Ontario about the local films and filmmakers featured at the 23rd Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival.

From Benjamin Paquette's "A Year in the Death of Jack Richards."

For 23 years, the Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival has come at the heels of the Toronto International Film Festival. But Cinefest has no red carpet, and the only big name you’re likely to see is on the screen. John Charrette introduces us to one Ontario filmmaker whose name you should know, Benjamin Paquette. His fourth feature, (Non) Fiction premiered at Cinefest over the weekend.

Filmmaker Benjamin Paquette stood stoically by the theater lobby with his crew, his friends and collages. He quietly greeted movie goers as they filed in to the premiere of his fourth feature film, (Non) Fiction, at this year’s Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival in Sudbury, Ontario.

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