Back in April indieWIRE launched the ‘Futures’ weekly column, to profile new up and coming faces in indie film. The column dates back ten years ago, when it appeared in iW and IFC TV’s print magazine IFC Rant. This summer saw a slew of new names welcomed into the ‘Futures’ mix. Over the past hot months subjects included “Get Low”‘s first time feature director Aaron Schneider, New Left Media’s Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll, breakout actress Jennifer Lawrence who stars in “Winter’s Bone,” and “Carlos” star Edgar Ramirez who spoke to iW during Cannes.
Below are this summer’s ‘Futures’:
FUTURES | Magaly Solier, Star of “Altiplano” and “The Milk of Sorrow”
“She has a natural grace on screen and a face that holds secrets and history,” said Woodworth. “Those directors fortunate enough to work with her in the future will be constantly surprised by her resources and resilience.” Put more simply: “She’s going to do great things,” said Llosa.
FUTURES | “A Film Unfinished” Director Yael Hersonski
“This MPAA thing has made many people talk about this film,” she said, in Oscilloscope’s funky West Village offices. “Eventually, I don’t think it will harm the theatrical life of this movie.”
FUTURES | “The Sicilian Girl” Director Marco Amenta
A native of Palermo, Amenta was aware of the Mafia’s omnipresence even as a child. At 22, he moved to Paris, where he worked as a globetrotting photojournalist and received his Master’s in Cinema. He went on to make several documentaries, including “Born in Bosnia,” about the Balkan wars, and “Letter from Cuba,” about a young man’s struggles after the Cuban Revolution. “The Sicilian Girl” is his first fiction film.
FUTURES | Embracing Culture Clash: “Imperialists” Director Zeina Durra
This was like me working through my upbringing, dislocated from all this conflict,” Durra said on what had inspired “Imperialists.” “I grew up lucky, but still with the burden of coming from a background of conflict.”
FUTURES | “Get Low” Director Aaron Schneider
“I’d always loved all the different aspects of filmmaking,” he said. “Somewhere around ’97 it kind of surged up in me. It wasn’t a long-term plan thing, I just suddenly realized we’re all storytellers, it’s just my toolbox was a camera, light and lens at the time. A director’s toolbox is everything. I thought it’d be kind of fun to tell a story with all the tools. So I put my entire life savings into a short film that I wrote.”
FUTURES | “Wo Ai Ni (I Love You), Mommy” Director Stephanie Wang-Breal
“As a Chinese-American filmmaker and a woman, it’s hard to get jobs. I just realized I was a person of color a few years ago. I’ve always felt a little out of place. Even in New York, I feel like an outsider.”
FUTURES | “Kisses” Director Lance Daly
“In a way it was like if I can make a film with two kids who are non-actors and shoot it on the street with very little resources but with a very clean, clear story, I was hoping to remove some doubt about was I able to do.”
FUTURES | Edinburgh “Star” Hattie Dalton
“It was ambitious to do a film like this as a first film because it is a difficult subject matter,” Dalton said. “My short films are quite black comedies. I always think that if you can entertain people along the way then the poignancy or the weight of the story can kind of be a drip feeder afterward and the resonance stays.”
FUTURES | New Left Media’s Chase Whiteside & Erick Stoll
Though Whiteside looks and acts like a broadcast journalist, the two have much to say about the industry into which they are grouped. “We go to these events and you see all the network people there, people who don’t want to be there,” Whiteside said. “They’re not documentary filmmakers; they’re there to capture news clips. All we did differently was ask the people there why they were there.”
FUTURES | “Undertow” Director Javier Fuentes-Leon
“It was amazing…,” said Fuentes-Leon. The reaction was great and we had four screenings – two with standing ovations. And then we won the Audience Award. I hope I don’t sound cliche but it was great.”
FUTURES | “Return” Filmmaker Liza Johnson
While “Return” features professional actors (Linda Cardellini, Michael Shannon, and Tim Blake Nelson), their experience and training allows them to work with Johnson to get to the realism and tone she’s seeking. In addition, she wrote the script for “Return” with her “In the Air” hometown in mind – a town in its own state of economic crisis, mirroring its protagonist – and with the same sense of temporality of the everyday shared by both shorts.
FUTURES | “Winter’s Bone” Actress Jennifer Lawrence
Lawrence said that she’s always wanted to act, ever since childhood, though she said that that is something probably most children probably consider. “But, there was something that I knew was there,” she said shyly, clearly hoping that her words wouldn’t backfire somehow.
FUTURES | “11/4/08” Director Jeff Deutchman
“Very few Republicans have probably seen this film, but I want them to see it,” Deutchman said, “There’s a way of viewing this film that Republicans might characterize the behavior as naive or even manic at times. My hope with the website is to collect footage and encourage all people including Republicans as well as other groups to submit [what they’ve captured] so their voices can also be heard.”
FUTURES | “Carlos” star Edgar Ramirez
Ramirez’ own path to acting began when he organized a short film festival while in college in Caracas, Venezuela. He met Guillermo Arriaga during a trip to Mexico and the writer encouraged him to pursue acting. But, still in school, he initially held off, later cast in a role by Arriaga and getting his big break in Tony Scott’s “Domino.”
FUTURES | “The Myth of the American Sleepover” filmmaker David Robert Mitchell
“I wanted the audience to see these characters and not recognize them from elsewhere – just see them as people,” Mitchell said. “I thought people who don’t have a lot of experience [with acting] would bring something more natural to it… We wanted to find people who were a little bit different than what youd find in a Hollywood film.”
FUTURES | “HERE” Filmmaker Braden King
A filmmaker and visual artist, King has previously garnered acclaim with his music video work, short films, and the documentary project, “Dutch Harbor: Where the Sea Breaks Its Back.”