Articles Tagged Film Festivals

The State of Short Films

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Cinema was born as a short form. Most early films were mere seconds long. Throughout the history of celluloid, countless great filmmakers have worked in the short format, and in many cases it is the medium that gives film and video-makers their best shot at creative freedom. One of my personal all-time favorite short films… Read more »

Sound Unseen

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The line to see The Last Word at the Minneapolis Oak Street Cinema snakes down the block, splitting in two directions. It’s a pleasing sight, even after a week spent loitering around movie theatres. Of the numerous events I’ve attended, The Last Word (2003) screening has the highest draw. It’s a locally produced independent feature,… Read more »

Sex, Cats and Rock & Roll

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If anyone captured the spirit of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, it was the codger who hoisted a placard that read: “The Toronto Film Festival is Satan’s Idea of Entertainment.” This middle-aged gentleman was part of a 150-person demonstration protesting the premiere screening of Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat. This ominous documentary… Read more »

Spice Market

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I am white and alone in a darkened room at night with over four hundred Dominicans in New York City. It is a room full of laughter. A room full of stereotypes embraced and shattered. And a room every American should experience in one way or another. Oscar Herasme, president of the Dominican American Professional… Read more »

Mind the Gap

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Although “development hell” is the norm for most independent filmmakers, the experience of Jonathan Caouette stands apart. The thirty-two-year old Caouette spent almost twenty years making Tarnation, his first feature-length documentary, which went from being a $218.32 home video project edited on iMovie, to a $400,000 theatrical release that will open this fall. Tarnation first… Read more »

Baltimore, Maryland

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Languishing in the shadows of bigger-shouldered cities like Washington and Philadelphia, Baltimore is burdened with something of a municipal chip on its shoulder, exposed in reasonless civic sloganeering like the much-scorned recent campaign proclaiming it “the greatest city in the world.” Likewise, when, say, three studio films locate here over a one-year stretch, newspaper columnists… Read more »

Surprise Ending

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After the Apocalypse is a black and white science fiction film shot on 16mm, about five survivors trying to cope with the "new world" following mass destruction in the wake of World War III. After principal photography was done in November 1999, I spent four and a half years finishing the film before its world… Read more »

Chaos Below Canal

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New York City: the one place on earth that may, at least in the eyes of its own citizens, come close to being all things to all people. Dizzying variety in every direction has always been at once the draw and curse of the place—and so too has it been for the annual Tribeca Film… Read more »

Portland, Oregon

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Legend has it that when settlers came west by covered wagon more than 150 years ago, those seeking fame and fortune headed south to California, while people seeking seclusion and autonomy ventured north to Oregon. So while movie fans in the rest of the country may associate Portland with its most famous director, Gus Van… Read more »

Coming Clean

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David Sampliner and Tim Nackashi’s debut documentary film Dirty Work premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2004 and is currently on the film festival circuit. Dirty Work follows the lives of three men—Russ, a bull semen collector, Darrell, a septic tank pumper, and Bernard, an embalmer—who passionately pursue distasteful, indispensable professions. Do you have an… Read more »