Author: Elizabeth Angell

Elizabeth Angell is a New York based freelance writer.

Articles Written by Elizabeth Angell:

The History and Legacy of AIVF (Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers)

In 1975, when a small group of energetic filmmakers convened the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers in their living rooms and makeshift offices, the word “independent” didn’t yet conjure up a world of arthouses, busy film festival circuits, and documentary filmmakers with household names. The word merely marked this group of earnest, ambitious directors… Read more »

Moving Images

Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me (2004) was an unqualified hit. The documentary, which followed Spurlock as he ate nothing but McDonalds for 30 days and interviewed a string of experts on the rapidly worsening American obesity epidemic, was nominated for an Oscar. It won at Sundance and at countless other festivals. It earned glowing reviews… Read more »

Guys on Girls on Film

From time to time there is a banner year for female characters. A great fuss is made about how movie-land has changed, allowing women into a club that hadn’t previously given them more than a handful of meaty roles at a time. 2005 was not one of those years. Most of the movies that earned… Read more »

Witness to Change

System Failure: Violence, Abuse and Neglect in the California Youth Authority has all the elements you’ve come to expect from an earnest, well-intentioned documentary. There are heartrending interviews with young people who have been incarcerated in California’s juvenile prisons, their parents, and the advocates who work with them. These interviews are well lit and seamlessly… Read more »

After The Split

On a Monday afternoon last September, IFP Executive Director Michelle Byrd sat on a patch of industrial carpet by some pay phones outside a rest room in the Puck Building in downtown Manhattan. She was dressed in a smart black suit, and her cell phone buzzed frequently from the confines of her bag. Visitors to… Read more »

Turning Books into Scripts

Scott Heim’s 1995 novel, Mysterious Skin, makes for an unlikely film. The story of two eight-year-olds from Kansas who are sexually molested by their little league coach is dark and sad, rife with poignant and haunting detail. To cope, one boy imagines that he was abducted by a UFO and lost five hours of his… Read more »

Netflix and the afterlife of indies

For a documentary, Deadline (2004) was, by all accounts, a big success. The film, which profiled Illinois Governor George Ryan and his decision to condemn the death penalty in Illinois, toured the festival circuit to rave reviews and was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004. Producers for NBC’s Dateline made the… Read more »

The Subtle Art of Awareness

When Jim de Sève began working on his documentary, Tying the Knot, four years ago, it was a small, personal film. He had fallen in love with Kian Tjong and both men wanted Tjong, an Indonesian immigrant, to stay in New York. Had they been a straight couple, says de Sève, they would have married… Read more »

Can Story be Taught?

Charlie Kaufman: Screenwriting seminars are bullshit Donald Kaufman: In theory, I agree with you. But this one’s different. This one’s highly regarded in the industry. Charlie Kaufman: Don’t say industry. Donald Kaufman: Charlie, this guy knows screenwriting. People come from all over to study with him. Adaptation (Spike Jonze, dir., 2002) We have come from… Read more »

Networking 101

Everyone knows the value of networking, right? It can get you a job, it can get you a great DP, it can get your film into the hands of a first-rate distributor. The right network can even get your movie an audience—if you’re producer Gill Holland. Holland himself was an important part of the promotion… Read more »