Sofia Coppola

1. Call for Projects: Attention, filmmakers and web series creators, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Canadian arts group ARTE are beginning a web series and need submissions. Entitled "Interactive Haiku," the series wants to compile "short online experiences" from an international body of filmmakers. Find out more here.

2. Stop Obsessing Over Gear: In a contributed opinion piece, L.A.-based filmmaker Noam Kroll writes about the obsessive focus on filmmaking gear and how it detracts from the main principles of good storytelling. Read Kroll's piece here.

3. Kickstarter News: Kickstarter announced that it will no longer review every project submission by hand as part of its approval process, which means that some crowdfunding campaigns have the project to launch immediately. In a blog post, Kickstarter wrote: "We're pleased to offer creators a simpler process for sharing their projects with the world, and the flexibility to choose how much help they need." Kickstarter has also simplified its rules. Good news, right?

4. Watch This Instead: A new web site created by Shannon V. Turner can help you determine whether the film you want to watch passes the Bechdel test. Named for comic strip author/graphic novelist Alison Bechdel, who devised the criteria back in the 1980s, the test gauges films for how they present their female characters -- if there are any! The site has ratings for 5196 movies and -- even cooler -- if the film you want to watch fails the test, the site will suggest something else to watch. Check it out here.

5. Female-Driven Stories: Speaking of female-driven stories, in a guest post, Alexis Ostrander Korycinski, an award-winning filmmaker currently in pre-production on "The Haircut," a short film about the first class of female cadets, writes about why it's so important that the film industry support women directors. Read her piece here.