Features

Living the Indie Life

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The notion of the starving artist is a romantic one. Sepia-toned images float through our collective minds of creative geniuses scraping together enough pennies to drink a pastis in a Boulevard Saint Germain cafe, tummies growling while masterpieces bubble up in their brains. But the reality of life in the twenty-first century requires serious cash—and… Read more »

Puerto Rico

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I did not come here to kill. I came here to die. – Lolita Lebrón On March 1, 1954, Lolita Lebrón and three men entered the United States House of Representatives armed with weapons. Her fist held high and wrapped in the flag of Puerto Rico, she fired four shots towards the ceiling in defense… Read more »

Up to Spec for PBS

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Heather Courtney began shooting video of migrant day laborers in Texas as a graduate school thesis project, with few ideas about distribution. Los Trabajadores/The Workers eventually screened at over fifty different venues over the past year. As the film journeyed through the festival circuit and aired on PBS affiliates in Texas, Courtney never heard there… Read more »

CPB Faces Possible Budget Cuts

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President Bush’s proposed budgets for 2004 and 2005 will introduce deep cuts and radical changes for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) if they pass through Congress later this year unaltered. In addition to a tighter budget, CPB would not receive advance appropriations for 2006. Advance appropriations allow CPB and the media entities it funds,… Read more »

Independents and PBS

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The storm clouds gathering on public television’s fiscal horizon, brought on by President Bush’s 2003 proposed budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, have passed for the moment. After intense lobbying from public television supporters, Congress cut CPB’s 2003 budget by 0.65 percent instead of the expected three percent. But, even though the cuts weren’t… Read more »

The Media Policy Wars

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There is a tremendous and silent battle being fought these days, the effects of which could create a culture (locally, nationally, and globally) that is completely beholden to the media giants, even more so than the present. The old-culture industries are engaging with the new digital spaces and internet users on a number of fronts… Read more »

San Francisco Screens

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In her review of Phil Kaufman’s 1978 remake of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, legendary film critic Pauline Kael wrote, “The story is set in San Francisco, which is the ideally right setting, because of the city’s traditional hospitality to artists and eccentrics.” This hospitality extends to movie venues. With its wealth of alternative… Read more »

FCC Changes Afoot?

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What do a former president of the Screen Actors Guild, the host of a long-running Harlem public access show, vice presidents at Fox and CBS, and Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell have in common? They’re all concerned about the future of media ownership laws, and were among the several dozen panelists who assembled at… Read more »

Screening No More

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Earlier this year the Carnegie Museum announced it would close one of Pittsburgh’s oldest and most renowned screening series and shut down the museum’s film and video department, the result of a $4 million budget cut for 2003. In addition to dropping the film and video program, Carnegie Museum is eliminating seventeen full-time and four… Read more »

Step Right Up to the Screenwriting Competition

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In the last year I’ve won some screenwriting contests (Pillage Hollywood, New Century Writer finalist) and lost some (Slamdance, American Accolades) and entered about a dozen others. The scripts are now in revisions based on feedback either from the contests themselves or producers who requested copies of the screenplay. When I was asked to write… Read more »