From Norway’s black metal scene to a series on child murderers, Steven LaFond picks four horrorcore documentaries worthy of Halloween on the couch.October 25th, 2010 | Steven LaFond
As doc filmmakers and fans well know, true criminals are often scarier than the masked marauders at multiplexes. Steven LaFond picks four docs that put the black in black metal and the heavy in murder.
In uncertain times, many filmgoers seek out horror or escapist narratives in order to get their minds off terrorism, unemployment, or their own lives. Over the past 10 years, my friends and I have kept up the tradition of watching terrifying films throughout the month of October in order to dispel the candy-colored cobwebs that have sterilized the holiday season into so much Scooby-Doo hijinx.
The Sixth Camden International Film Festival focuses on filmmakers’ growth as it grows in leaps and bounds itself.September 29th, 2010 | Maddy Kadish
For six years now Ben Fowlie has been luring the documentary world north to the Camden International Film Festival. They come for pitch opportunities, a seminar for film professionals, a semester-long partnership with the University Maine, and for docs that embrace an activist edge.
The Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) is a documentary-exclusive festival that takes place September 29th through October 3rd in a picturesque Maine coastal town. It’s a small, but growing festival founded six years ago by Ben Fowlie, who also programs and coordinates the event.
Getting your independent film seen often means packing it full of famous actors. At the Toronto International Film Festival, Katherine Brodsky discovered that to be especially true for films made in Canada.September 21st, 2010 | Katherine Brodsky
At the close of the Toronto International Film Festival and after taking in most of the fest's new Canadian releases, Katherine Brodsky noticed a common import: American fame.
Barney's Version is a Canadian film with a lot of stars, especially American ones like Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman.
Courtney Sheehan calls "Step Up 3D" a zeitgeist film, Erin Trahan allows it's a fun 3D romp with questionable relevance to indie filmmakers.September 3rd, 2010
The Independent has been thinking a lot about 3D lately. So when Courtney Sheehan went over the moon for Step Up 3D, Erin Trahan decided to see for herself if dance really can change the world. Short answer: possibly. Bigger question: what's 3D's relevance to indie filmmaking?
Erin Trahan: So, why did you implore me to see Step Up 3-D? It’s not exactly an A+ movie, nor is it independent.
Courtney Sheehan: Dunks. Step Up 3-D is about Nike Dunks. Step Up 3-D is about American values.
Trahan: I can watch Tea Party rallies if I want to conflate Nike with American values. Please elaborate.
In surveying more than a year of films and filmmaker interviews, Randi Cecchine decides that yes, funding streams can influence form, and the difference between the US and foreign models may surprise you.March 4th, 2010 | Randi Cecchine
US docmakers may feel pressed by funders to change the world with every film. The Independent's Randi Cecchine asks how is that mandate influencing docs' form, and what happens when funding models drastically differ, as they do abroad?
Over the past few years, I've had the pleasure of attending a number of film festivals and conferences, some with a press pass blogging for The Independent, some as a filmmaker; and each time I watch films, attend panel discussions, and most importantly, speak to documentary filmmakers to learn about their creative practice and the realities of producing.
After 10 days of Facebook-exclusive interviews, the suspense is finally over: The Independent's 10 filmmakers to keep an eye on in 2010... and the runners-up.February 4th, 2010 | Nikki Chase
They come from all walks of life, and each has a different story to tell. Some have found success, while others are just beginning their careers. And although their filmmaking reflects this diversity, they all have one major thing in common (other than being on this list): talent. Be sure to take notes as you read...you'll want to remember these filmmakers.
Choosing The Independent's 10 to Watch is like trying to predict the future, or the stock market, or the weather in New England. The films on this list are in all stages of production and the filmmakers range from seasoned professionals to debut artists. So you might wonder how we named this particular group. How, exactly, does one go about predicting what 2010 has in store?
Two veterans of the field reveal the true nature of activism in film.October 1st, 2009 | Jericho Parms
"It’s understanding the difference between an issue, and what will really provide the elements of a film," said Nettie Wild a social documentary filmmaker and director of Bevel Up: Drugs, Users and Outreach Nursing (view the trailer here), which screened at HotDocs in 2008. Independent writer, Jericho Parms, talks to Wild as well as director Francine Cavanaugh (view the trailer for her latest film On Coal River here), co-founder of Mountain Eye Media, about the elements that make a good activist film, and the effect social media can have on society.
It’s been nearly 10 years since the streets of Seattle hosted the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference and the subsequent chaos of the police response to the massive public protest, which turned into the so-called “battle on free speech in the name of free trade.” The event marked a significant phase of the anti-globalization movement—and a milestone in the activist nature of do
In the first installment of The Independent's new Film-Friendly States series, Erin Trahan explores why Michigan might be the perfect spot to shoot your next film.September 18th, 2009 | Erin Trahan
There is no doubt that the war of the tax credits can have an impact on your bottom line. And with states competing to get the best incentives on the books, it’s a buyer’s market. So how can filmmakers choose the right destination? A new series from The Independent assesses some of the top locations for independents in the United States.
From New Mexico to Massachusetts, from Michigan to California, state and local governments are luring film-production business by passing increasingly competitive tax-incentive policies. Michigan recently joined the party in April 2008, with an unprecedented 42 percent return.
A trend toward online documentary-style commercials might be a good source of supplemental income for filmmakers.September 17th, 2009 | Enette Ngoei
Corporate television commercials are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Instead, businesses both big and small are turning to documercials, commercials shot like documentaries, to more sincerely convey their message via the Internet. Like it or not, this trend is opening up doors for independent filmmakers — both financially and professionally.
A machine’s dial turns, and a white powder is added to a spinning beaker of water as a woman’s voice overhead talks about toothpaste and animal testing. It looks like a documentary you might find on PBS, but instead, it’s a commercial for Tom's of Maine.
Filmmaker Valerie Weiss presents the first in a series about the making of her first feature Losing Control.August 19th, 2009 | Valerie Weiss
In The Independent's new series Film Journal: The Making of an Independent Feature, filmmaker Valerie Weiss will share her experiences of financing, making, and marketing her first independent feature film Losing Control. Here, she discusses her inspiration for making the film and her method of fundraising.
Filmmaker Valerie Weiss will share her experiences of financing, making, and marketing her first independent feature film Losing Control in this monthly film journal.