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June 9 at 9:30am

A Marketing Idea I Like

IFC’s “Call In Commentary” is a good idea, bringing a level of intimacy to a mass market approach. I would have thought that by now we would have moved beyond trailers, but if they remain the dominant film marketing device, IFC’s innovation gives it a personalized feel.


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May 15 at 8:30am

COLLABORATOR NY Screenings

This June COLLABORATOR will have two special screenings here in New York City before its July theatrical release.

The first is June 18th at the IFC center, and the second is on June 19th at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.
Hal Hartley will be there to present on the 18th, and Martin Donovan, David Morse, and Ted Hope will be there to answer your questions on both nights.

June 18th
IFC Center
7pm

Buy tickets online.

June 19th
Museum of the Moving Image

Buy tickets online.

Find out more about Collaborator on Prescreen.


Collaborator premiered at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic, winning several awards including best actor for David Morse.

Read director, writer, and star, Martin Donovan’s thoughts on creating Collaborator.

Check out Collaborator’s Facebook page, and find more information about the film and its upcoming release from Tribeca Film on VOD, iTunes, Amazon, VUDU on June 19th here.

And read about previous coverage of Collaborator on Hopeforfilm here, here, and
here


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August 12 at 8:30am

LITTLE ROCK Is That Rare Indie That Consistently Defies Expectations

Truly Free Indie Film lovers get a rare treat this weekend; that is IF they are in NYC. I got to screen MIke Ott’s LITTLE ROCK for my HopeForFilm series at Goldcrest earlier this year, and am pleased to see that it opens today at Cinema Village. Mike will be there in person on Friday and Saturday. Don’t let his modesty mislead you: this kind of thing is not easy to achieve — as natural as he makes it look.

When we screened it at Goldcrest, I wrote the following:

I have something I would like you to consider: How do films defy expectations? They have to create such expectations first, right? And then still surprise you but also ideally make everything feel inevitable and part of the underlying concept. It is no easy task and so few films are able to do it these days. But we have one for you that does.

Mike Ott’s LITTLE ROCK was all of that — right up and through its end. I suspected things to come that didn’t and was given consistent pleasures that I didn’t even know were on the menu. Road trips seem to have become uncommon ground for indie films for some reason, but Ott’s trip was all about taking me to somewhere unknown and doing it in a very quiet way. We are brought into the world, almost becoming one of the characters in the process, so personable is the filmmaking approach.

Winner of the Gotham Award for Best Film NOT Coming To A Theater Near You and the John Cassavettes Indie Spirit Award, the film has has had no shortage of acclaim. Ott’s tale follows a brother and sister from Japan to Little Rock; we are never quite sure where they are heading or what they are looking for, but getting lost has always been part of the journey–and maybe all of the plan. Perhaps it’s improv’d, perhaps scripted, it all seems real with a deep connection to place. Cast with locals, unfamiliar faces, and non-professionals, Ott’s actors, like all other aspects of the film, feel entirely authentic, forever beckoning you into their circle.

It may not seem like a lot goes on in Little Rock, but Ott and his characters walked away with some part me, leaving me glad for the giving and happy for having been able to dwell there for each and every minute.

Please see it this weekend. These are rare films. We must vote for the culture we want with our dollars.



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February 4 at 8:20am

Sundance Sales Dissection: Septien (Part Two)

Today’s guest post is from George Rush, producers rep and attorney.  Yesterday George started telling us about how he engineered the sale of Michael Tully’s Sundance At Midnight hit, SEPTIEN.  Today’s post concludes the dissection.

I had been to Sundance before with Midnight films and know it can be difficult to get good buzz.  Sundance audiences are not reflective of real audiences.  It is a mixture of film nerds, rich party people, and earnest do gooders seeking some culture.  I’ve found most people want to see the buzzed about stereotypical Sundance films—The Are All Right, Winter’s Bone.  These tickets are hard to come by.  However, midnight screening tickets are easier to come by and thus people get stuck with them.  They come in hoping for some culture and get blood and guts and farts.

I’ve seen packed houses at Midnight screenings pretty empty by the time the lights came up.  Because Michael’s film, SEPTIEN,  is so different, I felt a good number of the audience and some critics would dismiss it outright because it did not fit their expectation of what a Sundance film should be.  It sort of reminds me of a friend of mine who hates Wes Anderson movies because he expects Bill Murray to always play the Bill Murray of Ghostbusters.

Those who stayed, who bought in, would be massively rewarded by SEPTIEN, but there would be some naysayers.  So my feeling was Sundance was going to be a wildcard, with champions and detractors. [...]


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October 9 at 9:00am

Cage Match: Are the Kids Alright? Youth Audiences in the Art House – Independent Film Conference 2010

Are independent and art-house film doing enough to draw young audiences away from the multiplex and the computer screen, or is the theatrical experience for a older demographic? On September 19th I was invited to participate in a “cage match” with Jeff Lipsky as part of Independent Filmmaker Conference’s panelist speaker event last month. We were able to agree on one thing: independent filmmakers need to draw a younger audience.

Moderator:
Liz Ogilvie, Crowdstarter

Panelists:
Ted Hope, This is that
Jeff Lipsky, Filmmaker, TWELVE THIRTY

Watch it here:

]

IndieWire also covered the debate in an article here.

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July 8 at 7:30am

“Reaching The Impossible” Indie Prod Battle Diary: MADE IN CHINA

Today’s guest post is from the star of 2009 SXSW Grand Jury Prize Winning film MADE IN CHINA, Jackson Kuehn.  I had the good fortune of being on the jury (with Scott Foundas and Anne Thompson) that year and was delighted how ambitious, inventive, funny and moving the film was.  As great all of those qualities were, the film also was centered by Jackson’s comic and committed star turn.  Jackson and Judi (Krant — the director) are both the real deal.  I will make a point of watching whatever they do.  And lucky for you: MADE IN CHINA is now up on IFC VOD.  If you love Indie Film, if you believe in ambitious film, if you want a diverse & unique film culture, if you want some good laughs, or just want to see how much can be created with very limited means, PLEASE make sure to watch MADE IN CHINA this month (and tell all your friends likewise).

‘One Hundred Year Old Egg’

by Jackson Kuehn

I was suffering from gastric pain, malnutrition, hot weather conditions, incoherence of thought, so three Lomotil pills later, I decided to stand up for myself and address the situation to Judi Krant during the casting process of our beloved Dorothy.  I let Judi know that agitation had gotten the better of me and I felt that at any moment I was going to die in Shanghai, China; commonly known as the Paris of the East.  At that precise moment, Judi’s highly concentrated eyes shifted my way like a famished, bloodthirsty wolf who had one last shot to feed her babies and to get it through my head that she’s the leader of the pack.  She said, “Jackson, now is the time to fight through it all.  I don’t want to hear any more excuses.  You need to toughen up now.”  I nodded my head and agreed.  Then she said, “For the next three weeks, you’ll be sharing the queen sized bed with Mr. James Choi.”   [...]


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