Yesim Ostaoglu discussing “Araf – Somewhere in Between” after the New York Film Festival, 2012 screening

Posted in Previous Interviews

The Margaret Mead Film Festival, Nov. 29 – Dec, 2, 2012

Posted in Film Reviews, etc.

Party Politics, a short film by FilmGym DOGMA

BROOKLYN BASED PRODUCTION COMPANY LAUNCHES ONLINE SHORT FILM INSPIRED BY THE OCCUPY WALL STREET MOVEMENT

Brooklyn, NY, October 2012 – FilmGym, an award-winning independent film production company located in the Bushwick section of the borough of Brooklyn and headed by husband and wife team Philipp Wolter and Michelle Glick, has most recently created a sub-brand of the company known as FilmGym DOGMA. The company, together with a core ensemble of filmmakers and writers, is working to create low budget films that raise awareness about selected social/political issues. DOGMA’s first project: a film inspired by the OWS movement.

Since FilmGym DOGMA’s inception in early 2012 (the company was founded in 2007), the group has been developing OWS inspired pieces and in July, put into production the first of a planned series of short films. The first is called Party Politics, written by Jocelyn O’Neil and Todd Morris. “It’s our way of attempting to make some sense of it all” says Glick. “Its not about having all the answers…with Party Politics, we are taking a look at the different political backgrounds and beliefs that make the whole situation surrounding this year’s election so interesting.”

States Wolter: “Its our way of giving something back. Of putting a voice to what’s currently happening in our country through the medium of film, and I’m really proud that DOGMA can provide a mirror that people can look into.”

“….Party Politics is a satirical comedy….and I’m hoping people will watch it and be able to laugh at themselves,” states Jocelyn O’Neil, who co-wrote the piece with Todd Morris. “We all can get pretty bent out of shape and uppity about our political views, especially with the election just around the corner.”

Glick is quick to add that the economic climate is not really a laughing matter: “In the face of an economic recession and an overall heavy feeling politically, we feel its important to create something that will hopefully lighten things up a bit.”

To schedule an interview with Michelle Glick or Philipp Wolter, please email Hannah Vaughn at Hannah.vaugh@gmail.com, or for more information, visit www.filmgym.com, www.michelleglick.com or www.philippwolter.com.

Contact: Hannah Vaughn
Email: Hannah.vaughn@gmail.com
Website: www.filmgym.com

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

By the Fireside with Larry: The Zimlet, written and directed by Charles Grantham, produced by Pauly Burke

Synopsis: Comedic food film hosted by Larry Wellington Cauldwell III, a larger-than-life mustachioed culinary expert. He’s a man dedicated to the finer things in life: fine food, fine wine, and fine women. Larry has all the misdirected charm and hilarity of Ron Burgundy, with the real-life advice and skills of Martha Stewart. By the Fireside is the chance to get to know him in a much more intimate way. Join him by the fireside where he shares his innermost thoughts and more importantly, his recipes for delicious libations, which will whet the appetite of even the most sophisticated cocktail enthusiast.

Bio: Charles Grantham is the creator of the character Larry Cauldwell, mustachioed culinary & lifestyle expert and food porn star, who is featured in the 2012 New York and Chicago Food Film Festivals. He graduated from Circle in the Square Theater School in 2005, and has performed at the Lincoln Center Institute and the Metropolitan Opera. He created the video projections for The Little Flower of East Orange directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman at the Public Theater, and has directed and lensed various other film projects including a remake of the Rocky “Training Sequence” for Labyrinth Theater Company, starring Kristen Wiig, Sam Rockwell, and Justin Long. He produced and co-starred in the multiple award-winning Norwegian short film Believe the Dance. Charles lives with his wife in Brooklyn and has a degree in Physics, which he rarely puts to good use.

Larry Cauldwell’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/LarryCauldwell?feature=watch

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

The Hamptons International Film Festival


United Artists, East Hampton

Another year, another Hamptons International Film Festival. Celebrating the fest’s 20th Anniversary, Executive Director Karen Arikien and Programmer David Nugent put together an exceptional line-up of screenings and programs (http://www.hamptonsfilmfest.org). Knowing I would necessarily miss a number of promising films, even with three screenings a day, I managed to shoe-horn in a brunch at the Maidstone Inn with Gotham Chopra who said a few interesting words about his new doc, Decoding Deepak, a portrait of his father Deepak Chopra.

Brunch with Gotham Chopra

So I saved In Your Dreams – Stevie Nicks for another time and honed in on a variety of features, docs, and shorts programs and was duly rewarded with a smorgasbord of entertainment. Among the features, the HBO-produced docudrama The Girl was a stand-out, with an outstanding performance from Sienna Miller as Tippi Hedren and Toby Jones proving mostly believable as a sadistic, sexually-frustrated Alfred Hitchcock obsessed with his latest blond actress.

Two notable docs that proved well-worth catching were The Standbys, a look at the trials and triumphs of three Broadway hopefuls who spend most of their would-be stage time in their dressing rooms waiting to see if tonight is the night they will actually go on stage. Was I worried the film might wallow in self-pity? Yes. Did it? Yes, but not over-whelmingly, just enough to remind viewers that these are, after all, people who grew up saying “Look at me!” Rounding out the docs was the excellent BBC-produced Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007, tracing the early history of the James Bond franchise, especially revealing in its exploration of the rift between Sean Connery, the original Bond, James Bond, and producer Cuby Broccoli, as well as some fascinating details about author Ian Fleming. Missing, though, was a real discussion of the famous music, opening titles and beautiful women that played such crucial roles in defining the lasting appeal of the spy thriller franchise.

Lastly, I was so glad I decided to catch the one feature-length animated film in the festival, the unusual Zarafa (http://www.patheinternational.com/en/fiche.php?id_film=701), based on the true story of the first giraffe introduced to Paris as a gift from Egypt to France’s King Charles X. This French-Belgium production is co-directed by Jean-Christophe Lie (The Triplets of Belleville, Disney’s Tarzan, Hercules and The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and offers glimpses of Belleville’s quirkiness while avoiding the often crowd-pandering nature of Disney films. A beautiful film of a journey filled with drama and gentle humor, and marked by an engrossing colorful palette. The unfolding nature of the filmmaking here creates a dream-like experience that should appeal to fans of animation and prove rewarding for young viewers. Mike Fishman

Posted in Film Reviews, etc.

My Brother Jack, written and directed by Stephen Dest (update)

My Brother Jack will have its world premiere at the BAHAMAS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Dec 2012) New Visions category.

See the press release here: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/my_brother_jack_headed_to_the_bahamas/

http://www.facebook.com/MyBrotherJack

stephendest.com

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Relics, written and directed by Jennie Allen

Relics is the story of a hapless vacuum cleaner salesman who tries to sell his Miractopus cleaning machine to an ailing woman and her skeptical daughter, on the day that the woman asked her daughter to help her end her own life. It’s a comedy! Sort of…

The film is about one woman’s desire to decide her own fate, about laughing in the face of loss, about the strange forms a generous and heroic act can take, and about believing in the power of a meaningful connection.

Relics is written and directed by Jennie Allen and produced by Michael Fix. Greg Meola is the executive producer, and Rori Bergman is the casting director. The film features Sarah Steele, Marceline Hugot and Seth Kirschner.

Donations can be made through our fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas: https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=7019
Blog: relicsfilm.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/relicsfilm
Personal website: jennieallenfilm.com

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

9 Pieces of Peace, directed/produced by Jan Selby


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: 9 Pieces of Peace tells the story of a Vietnam veteran named Dan Gallagher and his transformative journey from feeling despised by peace activists to being celebrated as Jeannette Rankin Peace Center’s 2012 Peacemaker of the Year.

In his search to find common ground, he develops an unexpected friendship with Betsy Mulligan-Dague, the Executive Director of the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center in Missoula, Montana. Given the history and conflict between peace activists and veterans, Dan’s unlikely friendship with Betsy touches on the subjects of compassion, courage and inspirational leadership. Together, they have begun to create bridges where walls have stood for decades.

Dan’s life also becomes intertwined with an extraordinary story about how the Missoula community reacted to a 30-foot-high graffiti peace symbol, which was painted on a Qwest telecommunications panel overlooking the valley. It unintentionally became a controversial public conversation about the subjective meanings of the peace symbol among veterans, peace activists and others within the community. The sign was both hated and revered for decades, serving as a metaphor for the conflict resolution process between peace advocates and veterans, and in general, the conflict resolution process on a larger scale.

As these two stories cross paths, we observe and learn from the universal challenges experienced by individuals and communities in their struggles to find common ground.

TRAILER: http://youtu.be/6uL7M7fTRR4

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:
Kickstarter: 9piecesfilm.com/fund
Website: http://9piecesfilm.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/9Piecesfilm
Twitter: http://twitter.com/janselby
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/quietislandfilm/9-pieces-of-peace/

BIO: Jan Selby is a multiple regional EMMY© award-winning producer, director, and founder of Quiet Island Films, a full-service video production company. Her first film as director/producer, A Circle and Three Lines (2009), followed the 50-year history of the peace symbol. It screened at film festivals worldwide, broadcasted on public television, was included in the Walker Art Center’s video bay, and won a regional EMMY©. She produced FRITZ: The Walter Mondale Story, which was broadcast on public television, and screened at locations nationwide. 9 Pieces of Peace is a documentary film and community engagement project that will inspire dialogue about what it means to find common ground. Jan also creates videos for creative agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations.

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Tickets To Van Morrison directed by Joel Devereux and written by Matt Murphy

Based on a true story, Tickets To Van Morrison is a feature film about two entirely different people brought together by their sufficiently shortened mortality. Tom, who is an Insurance Customer Care officer, and Beth, who is a free spirited garbage artist, decide to spend their remaining days together, even though they live totally different lives. At the heart of the story was an encounter director Joel Devereux had experienced almost a decade ago when he crossed paths with a young couple who were madly in love. Unlike most young couples who eagerly and excitedly look towards the future and the promise it brings, this young couple had resigned themselves to their fate. They were both diagnosed with a terminal illness, which would inevitably cut short their lives and their love.

Inspired by true events, Tickets to Van Morrison gives voice to the subject of terminal illness in young people and has already had an enormous impact the world over as people share with us their own stories and experiences. The story itself resonates very deeply with anyone who has been affected by the premature loss of a loved one.

Find out more at: http://www.facebook.com/ticketstovan

Contribute to the release of the film at the IndieGoGo Campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/ticketstovan

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Cartoon College, directed and produced by Josh Melrod and Tara Wray


Synopsis: Cartoon College documents a group of students at one of the most selective and grueling art schools in America: The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont. Founded in 2005, CCS is the country’s top institution of higher learning for up-and-coming graphic novelists. Each fall the school invites twenty aspiring cartoonists to study an all-encompassing, do-it-yourself approach to making comics. These lucky few spend two years learning all the skills needed to become a successful comics creator. Those who complete the program earn a Master of Fine Arts degree, and are ready to face the hardships and uncertainty of a career in one of the world’s most labor-intensive, drudgery-inducing art forms.

Cartoon College features a gifted and ambitious cast of aspiring cartoonists, characters in the mode of Spellbound, as well as appearances by some of the biggest names in cartooning—Chris Ware, Scott McCloud, Art Spiegelman, Françoise Mouly, Jules Feiffer, Charles Burns, Lynda Barry, among many others.

Since production began in 2007 filmmakers Josh Melrod and Tara Wray have chronicled the lives of a dozen aspiring cartoonists, documenting their successes and failures, observing their creative processes, watching them slave over their drawing boards, following them to their day jobs, seeing them ply their trade at conventions, visiting their homes, meeting their families, and discovering the passion and fortitude required when a person chooses comics over all else.

Links
http://www.cartooncollegemovie.com
https://www.facebook.com/CartoonCollegeMovie
http://twitter.com/#!/Cartoon_College

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

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