Sharon Lewis is the creator behind the indie sci-fi film Black Girl Begins. In her debut piece for The Independent, Lewis writes about how she drew on energies of the under-served community of Afropunk women to market and distribute her film. She offers valuable advice to filmmakers on how to use social media and crowd funding as marketing and research tools, how to choose festivals wisely, and how to “re-define” a theatrical release. Brown Girl Begins is based on the award-winning novel Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson.
Collaborators in life and work, the husband/wife team of Stéphan Beaudoin and Sophie-Anne Beaudry join The Independent’s 10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2016 for their upcoming feature Yankee, which explores the idea of a woman entering traditionally male-dominated domains of violence. Here, they talk about Yankee, self-financing a film, and shooting on location.
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.
“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.
Fittingly, Frederick Wiseman attended the 40th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival with his 40th documentary, In Jackson Heights, about a diverse New York neighborhood in flux. The Independent asks Wiseman to discuss the editing process, the communities he discovered in Jackson Heights, and the notion of screening all of his films in a continuous 100 hour stretch.
If cinema can function as a vehicle for a nation’s collective memory, Afghanistan only recently began to recollect itself. Pietra Brettkelly’s documentary, A Flickering Truth, mines the Afghan Film Archive for the nation’s cultural history and follows the team of people who are working to protect it and share it with the world.
In November 2014, staff writer for The Independent, Dana Knight spoke with director/writer Hal Hartley. Knight also sat down with Liam Aiken to look at the Hartley’s work from a new perspective. Dana Knight (DK): This must be a very special project for you since your film debut was in Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool. What do you remember about… Read more »
Gusts of bitingly cold wind eat away at the inch of precocious snow on the ground, offering a fittingly bracing backdrop to the Rencontre Internationales de Documentaire de Montréal (RIDM). Now in it’s 17th year, the festival offers a late-in-the-season “best-of” selection of international and Canadian films that favors essays, cross-genre films and other non-traditional… Read more »