In 2011, Evan Glodell and Joel Hodge partnered up to make the film Bellflower, with Glodell writing, directing and acting, and Hodge working as DP. With a budget of about $17,000, the film became acclaimed for its stunning action-packed cinematography, resulting from their own hand-made camera built exclusively for the film. Now, Glodell and Hodge make The Independent’s 10 Filmmakers to Watch list for their upcoming feature Chuck Hank and the San Diego Twins.
Whose Streets, a documentary from filmmakers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis currently in post-production, chronicles the lives of activists in Ferguson, Missouri and the surrounding St. Louis area following the controversial killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014. Folayan and Davis focus on the aftermath of the incident and the evolving social movement surrounding it. Their hope is to bring awareness and clarity to this racially-charged, constantly unfolding narrative. The directing duo make our 10 filmmakers to watch list for 2016.
Paisley Smith first found her niche in Virtual Reality working with the “Godmother of VR” Nonny de la Peña and the Emblematic Group. Smith now makes The Independent’s 10 to Watch list for her most recent project, an animated Virtual Reality documentary Taro’s World based on the story of Taro, an exchange student from Japan who lived with Smith and her family for his teenage years, but at age 17, took his own life.
In each of his short films, Andrew Ahn explores the dynamics of an Asian American family living in the United States and the very nature of family itself. Now, he makes our 10 Filmmakers to Watch list for his debut feature film, Spa Night, a film that continues to explore these themes and recently premiered at Sundance 2016 in US Dramatic Competition.
Abatemarco, who spent nearly seven years making Kivalina, advises first time documentarians to recognize that some of the hardest work of making a film is not technical or financial, but interpersonal. “It’s about your relationship with your subjects over time. That is the real work and the real difficulty. Somehow you’ll find the money but the most difficult work is to carry the story for however long you have to carry it, because these are heavy subject matters.”
There was some judgment in some way by the choice of the locations. By the facts we wanted to stress in our narration. None of the locations were there just for fun, they should all tell something for those who want to read between the lines, so there is some criticism of mankind. But besides that it’s true, the audience is very much invited to basically see their own film.
De Pue was nervous about working with so many co-producers. “I was a bit afraid about it, I learned in school about it. When you have all these co-producers they bring in money but they also have their artistic choices and they can get involved at some point.
When De Pue returned by himself to Afghanistan, he realized he “had to rethink the way of filming and the way of working in Afghanistan, to go back to a really low profile way like we did in the preparations.”
The Lost Arcade is the feature documentary debut of director Kurt Vincent and producer Irene Chin. The film captures the final days of Chinatown Fair, the last video game arcade in Manhattan. It premiered at DOC NYC and had its European premiere at the 45th International Film Festival Rotterdam, where The Independent interviewed Vincent. Courtney… Read more »
“Sometimes I’m watching what I’ve shot and I’m like, ‘I could have never written that dialogue.’ People are really good actors in documentary,” said Montreal-based filmmaker Jean-François Lesage about making his doc, A Summer Love. Lesage and four other filmmakers with work screening at the 2015 RIDM Film Festival sat down with The Independent’s Patrick Pearce to talk elements of film style.