Articles Tagged Making Films

Blurring the Lines

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Ohio-based filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s 3-hour and 45-minute documentary A Lion in the House follows five families with economically and racially diverse backgrounds over six years during their fights against childhood cancer. The filmmakers (Reichert started New Day Films in 1971 and both are longtime members of AIVF) recount the fascinating process of… Read more »

Voices from Issues Past

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What happened at AIVF over the last 30 years? Coming up with a coherent and entertaining way to answer that question was not an easy task. Instead of recounting the factual history—which would put most readers to sleep—we decided to let the voices (of past and present) speak for themselves. What follows is a conversation… Read more »

AIVF: And What it Meant to Me

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I first became aware of AIVF when Martha Gever was editor of The Independent. I marveled at this national organization that put out each month a magazine chock full of weighty, intellectual and critical articles on film and video. The magazine wasn’t glossy and was not determined to be a general “industry rag.” At that… Read more »

One-Two Punch

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I thought that making Monster’s Ball was rough. I vowed upon wrapping that film that I would never make another. After the accolades and success of that film, I was offered tons of projects from studios for lots of money (which I really could have used.) But all of them were jokes: Who’s My Baby’s… Read more »

On the Margins of the Multiplex

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In 1973, a young, cinema-loving bohemian couple fled the high rents of Manhattan for the more affordable suburbs of Huntington, NY. Once there, Vic Skolnick and Charlotte Sky found that they had also fled, inadvertently, the vibrant independent cinema scene in New York City, which was then in its heyday, with more than a dozen… Read more »

Q&A – James Schamus

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Writer, producer, and film executive James Schamus has had about as brilliant a career in independent film as they come, and it just keeps getting better. The films he has worked on read like a list of the only films that really matter in the modern trajectory of independent cinema: The Wedding Banquet (1993), The… Read more »

Q&A: Linda Goldstein Knowlton and Linda Hawkins Costigan

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For most people in America, “Sesame Street” warrants no introduction. The long-running PBS program and landmark, nonprofit children’s educational organization, Sesame Workshop (renamed from Children’s Television Workshop in 2000), has been viewed in thousands of homes across the country since 1968 when it first began changing the way we look at television with its smart,… Read more »

Hell or High Water

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In 1998, I joined the production team of Julie Gustafson’s Desire, a documentary about teenage girls from three diverse New Orleans neighborhoods. Funded by both local and outside foundations, Desire was one of the first in New Orleans to create paid opportunities for local documentary makers. As a member of Julie’s crew, I met many… Read more »

Moving Images

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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 »

State of Fear

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The Last Shot The mobs were ferocious and loud. They were beating policemen, looting government buildings, and smashing the cameras of local media. I feared that they would turn on us. We were shooting the last scene of State of Fear, which documents the legacy of Peru’s war on terror, but to the rioters we… Read more »