The Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center have partnered again in producing the 27th annual New York Jewish Film Festival. The festival showcases films from around the world that explore the diversity of Jewish experience. The Independent’s Senior Film Critic, Kurt Brokaw, was at this year’s festival and shares his favorites from a thrilling lineup of documentary, narrative, and short forms.
Women in Film Portraits is a series by Lauren Sowa about supporting, cheering, helping, and connecting with up-and-coming creative artists. In an industry where female voices are still underrepresented, this project is timely and vital. The series will launch in January with a profile of Iranian-American Director Natasha Kermani. New interviews will appear monthly at the magazine.
Annie Berman, named one of The Independent’s ten filmmakers to watch (2016), is a media artist living and working in New York City. Her background in photography and psychology inspires work about visual culture, virtual realities, and the changing media landscape. Her films, videos, performances, and installations have shown internationally including at the Museum of Modern Art’s Doc Fortnight, Rooftop Films, Galerie Patrick Ebensperger Berlin, Kassel Hauptbahnhof, and the Rome Independent Film Festival where she was awarded the Best Experimental Film Prize. Recently, Annie spoke with The Independent’s editor about her newest VR project—an exploration of the possibilities and limitations of virtual reality through the aftermath of Second Life.
Critic Evan Crean interviews screenwriter Michael H. Weber and comedian Paul Scheer about the making of The Disaster Artist, and their relationship with The Room, the uproarious cult film it’s based on.
Filmshop is a New York City-based filmmaker collective founded on the idea that all filmmakers can benefit from constructive feedback and from thinking critically about the work of others. Members meet weekly to workshop everything from treatments to fine cuts in a range of formats and genres. Hillary Nussbaum, Co-Leader of the South Brooklyn Chapter of Filmshop, provides tips that she’s learned about giving and receiving effective feedback from ten years of experience as a workshop leader.
In Circle Up, Boston based filmmaker Julie Mallozzi explores the power of peacemaking circles in restorative justice. She documents women using this indigenous practice to cope with extreme violence and loss. Marie-Emmanuelle Hartness met with Julie after a screening and Q&A at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge to discuss the film’s production and its use in activism.
Senior Film Critic Kurt Brokaw has been a tireless champion of shorts for years. In this 8th edition of DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival, he views over 60 curated shorts from ten separate programs. Four are chosen for their timely and timeless quality.
The Independent’s Editor speaks with Gnimbin Ouattara, Associate Professor of History and International Studies at Brenau University on his new documentary Ali, mbomayé’s. The film centers on four African people who vividly remember the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” fight in Zaire, where Muhammad Ali, former heavyweight champion, defeated George Foreman, the undefeated world heavyweight champion in a knockout.
The continued rise of streaming platforms has had reverberating effects in online film communities. Every company, regardless of size and scope, must complete to find, maintain, and build online audiences. Courtney Sheehan shares news of new streaming services after speaking with industry reps at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.