The ITVS Indie Roundup

A curated list of indie news and recommendations from ITVS’s Rebecca Huval.

The real reason we watch the Oscars: the surprising gaffes. Here are the best and worst moments of the Academy Awards ceremonies since 2008.

First-time documentary filmmakers, apply by March 8! You can get mentorship when you sorely need it through IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs, which guide low-budget films (less than $1 million) through completion, marketing, and distribution.

New York doc lovers should check out the Documentary Fortnight 2013 showcase at MoMA, Feb. 15 to March 4, and enter at POV to win free tickets to MoMA Selects: POV screenings.

Now in its third year, the upstart Open City Doc Fest in London rages on June 20 to 23. Late deadline for submissions is March 4!

If you haven’t seen it already, watch a snippet of the Oscar-nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague and learn about the filmmaker’s original inspiration. (via @TheBayCitizen)

Recovered Super 8 footage of President Nixon in the documentary Our Nixon will cap the New Films/New Directors festival on March 31.

The ITVS Indie Roundup

A curated list of indie news and recommendations from ITVS’s Rebecca Huval.

The director of concert documentary Andrew Bird: Fever Year has found an even more intimate subject to cover for her next nonfiction film. Xan Aranda will explore the Mormon film industry and her own disillusionment from the faith. She dished out the details to Chicago WBEZ’s The Morning Shift. (via Kartemquin Films)

D’oh! Here are five simple blunders documentary filmmakers make, including filming without a vision in mind.

How do you capture the feel of dancing on camera? The rush, dizziness, and gravity-defying lightness? Who better to answer that question than dancer-photographer, Mikhail Baryshnikov, who talked to the New York Times Lens blog about his techniques in dance and photography.

Check out this rediscovered Dutch TV documentary, The Making of The Empire Strikes Back. In an interview, Star Wars director Irvin Kershner says, “Some people call it science fiction. I don’t even consider it science fiction. I consider it a fairy tale.” Continue reading

The ITVS Indie Roundup

A curated list of indie news and recommendations from ITVS’s Rebecca Huval.

Is your camera bag feeling like an anvil on your shoulder? The Tiziano Project just taught a filmmaking course in Kosovo with iPads, and they make a strong argument why you might want to go the lighter route.

Win $2,000! The 2012 James River Shorts mini-festival is accepting short films of all genres, as long as the running time is under 30 minutes, until Sept. 30.

A number of solid films are now streaming at POV: Emmy-nominee Better This World (until Oct. 10), My Reincarnation, the story of an exiled Buddhist master and his son (until Sept. 20), and Sound of Vision, a short film about a blind man’s experience of New York City. Continue reading

The ITVS Indie Roundup

A curated list of indie news and recommendations from ITVS’s Rebecca Huval.

While San Francisco says goodbye to Woody Allen (he just wrapped up shooting his latest film in the Bay), here’s a comprehensive 1995 Paris Review interview of the screenwriter:“I have no compunction stealing from Strindberg, Chekhov, Perelman, Fellini, and Bob Hope’s writers,” Allen said.

Speaking of screenwriters, learn about the lesser-known art of documentary writing from the Writer’s Guild Award-winning duo behind Better This World.

Check out the wonders of stop-motion animation beyond Tim Burton: This poetic and beautifully textured short film, Undone by Hayley Morris, captures the unraveling of the mind caused by Alzheimer’s. It was inspired by Morris’s grandfather’s struggle with the disease.

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The ITVS Indie Roundup

A curated list of indie news and recommendations from ITVS’s Rebecca Huval.

You’ll never look at a dumpster the same way again. The sanitation department of Hamburg, Germany, teamed up with an advertising agency to form the Trashcan Project. They plant pinhole cameras on the dumpsters, offering a trash-level view of the city.

Awaken your creative juices by perusing the 10 Gold winners from Cannes Lions 2012, the advertising festival, including a surprising interpretation of the Three Little Pigs by The Guardian.

If you’ve made a film before, you understand that it’s an all-consuming labor of madness and passion. Now’s your chance for some schadenfreude. Watch other directors as they captain the impossible task of making a movie through this Sundance compilation of documentaries about filmmaking. Continue reading

The ITVS Indies Roundup

A curated list of indie news and recommendations from ITVS’s Rebecca Huval.

Sadly, film festivals are wrapping up this week. Hot Docs in Toronto, the largest North American documentary festival, closes this weekend. The event brimmed with films about edgy artists, such as Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.

At Hot Docs today, filmmakers are protesting the Canadian government’s cuts to CBC, NBF, and Telefilm Canada. The industry has lost 1,500 full-time documentary jobs in the past two years, according to the Documentary Organization of Canada. (via Realscreen)

To succeed as a documentary filmmaker in such dire economic times, read advice from first-time filmmakers who are screening their work at Hot Docs. Continue reading

The ITVS Indies Roundup

A curated list of indie news and recommendations from ITVS’s Rebecca Huval.

‘Tis the season for film festivals: Both the Tribeca Film Festival and the San Francisco International Film Festival kicked off this week.

Read an enlightening interview of three Tribeca staffers to get a sense of how they winnowed down their film festival choices. “We don’t respect the idea of, ‘I like this, I don’t like this,’” Genna Terranova, director of programming, told The New York Times. “You have to explain why, almost as if you’re looking at it as an academic evaluation. But at the same time, you have to add that human observation: Were you moved? Were you scared?”

Frédéric Boyer, artistic director at Tribeca, was also interviewed by The Awl. The man watches movies like no other: “It was impossible to have children or any love affair because my priority was to watch films,” Boyer said about his early career. “It was a wonderful period because it was a crazy period. I was watching five, six, seven films each day and reading books about cinema. Fortunately, I escaped from this beautiful prison because of music, women, wine, food, life.”

Are you wondering how the JOBS Act might affect you as a filmmaker? This handy guide from Filmmaker Magazine explains how the act will transform indie film funding. Continue reading

The ITVS Indies Roundup

A curated list of indie news and recommendations from ITVS’s Rebecca Huval.

Happy poetry month! Read about the “greatest poetry documentary of all time,” according to the Poetry Foundation: Ron Mann’s 1982 Poetry in Motion.

A new interactive documentary called Barcode is a carnival funhouse of films. Thirty filmmakers produced 100 docs about the objects that surround us, from brooms to lipstick. My favorite short follows subway riders engrossed in books with a voiceover of the lines they’re reading.

YouTube added a pay-per-view option for live streaming of events, which adds another funding platform to your arsenal. Continue reading

The ITVS Indies Roundup

A curated list of indie news and recommendations from ITVS’s Rebecca Huval.

Look, up in the sky! Here comes trouble. When a movie character gawks into the ether, you know something bad is on its way. If you want to avoid this cliche, or simply have a Friday laugh, watch this montage from Devour. (via Open Culture)

If you’re at a loss of what to watch this weekend, check out this list of documentaries opening in April. Continue reading

The ITVS Indies Roundup

A curated list of indie news and recommendations from ITVS’s Rebecca Huval.

The director of the classic Some Like It Hot, Billy Wilder, gave Cameron Crowe some thoughtful filmmaking advice in the 1990s. Though Wilder was talking about screenwriting, his list applies to documentary filmmaking as well, including such gems as “Grab ‘em by the throat and never let ‘em go.”

You probably know that recently released documentaries are being taught in classrooms today. But did you know that a free school essay for The Interrupters is already available online? (via Kartemquin)
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