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In Partnership with Westridge Foundation, Sffilm Announces New Grant Program for Narrative Filmmakers

16 November 2017 11:35 AM, PST

There’s long been an imbalance between grants available to fiction filmmakers as opposed to documentarians, and today Sffilm, the Bay Area-based nonprofit, has announced in partnership with the Westridge Foundation new biannual grants and other resources for narrative filmmakers based across the U.S. Four to five grants of $20,000 – $25,000 will be given each spring and fall, and applications are now open for the first cycle, which runs through February, 2018. From the press release: The Sffilm / Westridge program is designed specifically to support the screenwriting and development phases of narrative feature projects whose stories focus on the […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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Exclusive Clip: Chanelle Aponte Pearson and Rae Leone Allen’s 195 Lewis

15 November 2017 12:13 PM, PST

195 Lewis, a web series directed by Chanelle Aponte Pearson and created by Rae Leone Allen, premieres tomorrow night at 8:00 Pm at the show’s website. Last year, when the series was in production, we interviewed Pearson, and she discussed her own motivation for joining the project: At the time of joining the project as director, I used to watch The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl and The Couple, so I largely understood the format to work best for comedies with episodes ranging from two to five minutes. Despite knowing this, I still entered the writing process not focusing on […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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Revisiting History at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival

15 November 2017 12:00 PM, PST

Sante Fe has archeological sites that date back 13,000 years. As we drove to my hotel from the Albuquerque airport, almost an hour-long trek at midnight, my driver told me about the history of the city, rooted in Native American culture, that I had no idea dated that far back. “History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes,” Mark Twain supposedly said. After spending a weekend at the Sante Fe Independent Film Festival, the thought felt applicable — the lineup of films demonstrated the cynical nature of oppression, struggle and minority battles that indeed continue in familiar patterns. Set on […] »

- Meredith Alloway

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The Story Women Have Been Trying to Tell for Years Now

15 November 2017 7:00 AM, PST

Recently, I had to correct a friend of mine who referred to Thelma & Louise as an independent film. “Actually,” I said, “Thelma & Louise was 100% Hollywood, incredible as that may seem today.” It is not surprising that the Callie Khouri-penned story of two women escaping the law after killing a man for his attempted rape has developed an outlier reputation considering Hollywood’s response to it. Despite its critical and box office success, there were no copycat films made, no new genre emerged, no film movement was sparked. Since then, Hollywood has come nowhere close to producing another such […] »

- Jennine Lanouette

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Doc NYC 2017: Peter Braatz on Blue Velvet Revisited

14 November 2017 3:55 PM, PST

The past year has proven to be a uniquely rewarding time for David Lynch obsessives, with the Showtime revival of Twin Peaks being the obvious highlight, but also marked by recent Criterion Collection Blu-ray/DVD special editions of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and the new documentary, David Lynch: the Art Life, focused on Lynch’s painting roots. However, one of the most fascinating Lynch-related features in recent memory has yet to receive the widespread U.S. exposure it richly deserves, and it reflects back to a more traditionally structured Lynch favorite (indeed, still the film that some cite as his key work) that those […] »

- Travis Crawford

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“We Digitized Every Frame”: Andrew Sherburne on Saving Brinton and Film Preservation

14 November 2017 3:18 PM, PST

“I like to save things,” Mike Zahs says in the opening seconds of Saving Brinton, “especially if they’re too far gone.” He’s referring, in the moment, to the stray animals that have hobbled onto his property over the years: a lost cat that birthed 11 kittens, a rotund dog named Tuesday. He’s also alluding to his great passion project, which originated at an estate sale in 1981. Zahs found a cache of mysterious boxes from the estate of Frank Brinton, a showman who traveled the country with his wife from 1895 to 1909 to project films and other pre-cinema entertainments […] »

- Soheil Rezayazdi

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