The ITVS Indie Roundup

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

Priceless advice on interactive documentary filmmaking comes from an unlikely source: The Guardian’s Global Development Professionals Network. Emma Wigley, director of the interactive documentary Big River Rising, says to take a holistic approach: “Big River Rising is much more than a media project. It is a long-term educational resource for students and development organisations around the world.” (via @povdocs)

Could this be the first documentary filmed with Google Glass? This latest gadget by Google displays information in front of your eyes — imagine a smartphone strapped to your face. Gizmodo claims to have spotted a camera team filming with the elusive product still unavailable to the public.

For once, filmmakers are seeking guidance on how to transition from the theatrical film world to TV. A panel at New York Television Festival counseled indie filmmakers to invigorate projects that “might otherwise languish in cinematic purgatory.” Indiewire writes: “Over the past few years, television’s begun to challenge film as the preeminent outlet for American storytelling, the breadth of interest and means of distribution at an all-time high for a medium that can no longer be looked at as of inferior artistic merit.”

UK doc-makers now have more opportunities to receive funding for their films. The BFI Film Fund will accept pitches twice a year, when selected applicants will give a 10-minute pitch to an expert panel.

This psychedelic short video by Dutch designer and director Mischa Rozema is an homage to the 1990 space shuttle Voyager 1, combining real-life NASA footage, sci-fi animation, and experimental orchestration. (via @brainpicker)

This could be the first year a YouTube video wins an Emmy, according to Mashable. With Arrested Development on Netflix, it’s clear that some of our greatest shows are no longer confined to cable.

The ITVS Indie Roundup

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

Explore the possibilities of transmedia docs with Filmmaker Magazine’s reflections on the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. At the festival, Doc Lab showcased choose-your-own-adventure documentaries that don’t sacrifice the main storyline.

Oscar excitement is through the roof! The shortlist for best documentary includes 15 picks, and Realscreen has interviews with seven of the directors.

Zooming out even further from the Oscar choices of 2012, here are the top 10 Sundance documentaries of the decade.

If you’ve never seen Paul Madonna’s illustrations, now is the time to start. Here is his adorable and insightful comic about the difficulties of living a creative life. Continue reading

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.

Are you obsessed with GIFs yet? If you’re not, now’s the time to start. PBS Off Book produced an excellent primer into the art of the moving still image, known as the Graphic Interchange Format, from its uncool, corporate beginnings in the 1990s to its current heyday.

Here’s a chuckle-worthy photo of Bill Murray looking twee against a wall of paparazzi at the Cannes Film Festival 2012. The festival featured the premiere of Wes Anderson’s latest whimsical confection, Moonrise Kingdom, in which Murray stars.

Also at Cannes, Saudi Arabia experienced a lot of firsts. The country’s first female director, Haiffa al Mansour, brought Wadjda, the first film ever shot in Saudi Arabia, to the festival. The coming-of-age drama follows an 11-year-old girl in the outskirts of Riyadh. Continue reading

The ITVS Indies Roundup

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

Get your creativity on! Longshot Radio and Radiolab talked about creativity, revision, and failure at the 99% Conference in New York City last week. For your listening pleasure, they compiled their editors’ picks of podcasts from the event.

Behold the TV of the future: using an iPad as a remote, you can control the features that appear on your screen and the overall size, which can stretch the length of your living room wall. Wired claims this is just “what the TV industry needs to stay relevant.”

“I want a man like Putin, who doesn’t drink. I want a man like Putin, who won’t make me sad.” These are the actual lyrics to a Russian pop song. This gem is explained in the new PBS show SOUND TRACKS that will broadcast in Fall 2012. Until then, you can watch their series on the web to learn the political and cultural stories behind music around the world.
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ITVS in the News

A sampling of coverage from CNN, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Timesand more…

CNN.com: Muslim superhero comics meets resistance in U.S.
Naif Al-Mutawa anticipated a struggle when he launched an Islam-inspired comic book series that he hoped would become a symbol of toleration. He worried about the comics being banned in Saudi Arabia – which wound up happening, briefly – and he expected to be challenged by conservatives in Islam, since Al-Mutawa wanted to buck the trend of Islamic culture being directly tied to the Koran. But it wasn’t an Islamic cleric that stalled the series, called “The 99,” after the 99 attributes of Allah, which the superheroes are supposed to embody. It is the American market, and the voices of Islam’s Western critics, that have caused the most problems for “The 99,” says Al-Mutawa, who is the focus of a PBS documentary airing next week.

New York Times: An American Minority’s Road to Rights
It may be the least-publicized revolution of our time but the one whose impact ultimately reaches the furthest, affecting the way our buildings and buses are built, the way our schools are structured, the way our businesses conduct hiring and outfit their work stations. It’s the disability-rights movement, and Lives Worth Living, a Thursday Independent Lens on PBS, reconstructs how it emerged and eventually pushed through the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.
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