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Film Funding & Financing

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    U.S.'s New Congress Proposes Spending Cuts on Culture

    The cinema's main lobbyist for culture in Washington is The Creative Coalition. As the premiere nonprofit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community since 1989, it is dedicated to educating and mobilizing its members on issues of public importance. Actors Dana Delany and Tim Daly serve as the organization's co-presidents.Today it expressed concern regarding spending cuts proposed by the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Appropriations. In an outline of proposed funding cuts for the current fiscal year, Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) would cut back funding for t...

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    Rotterdam Cinema Reloaded

    The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) finishes the first phase of its Cinema Reloaded program with the launch of its first two crowd-funded short films. These films by Ho Yuhang and Alexis Dos Santos are supported by hundreds of individual donations from Cinema Reloaded co-producers. For ...

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    Sandi Dubowski at Sundance

    Sandi Dubowski is in Sundance co-hosting a Good Pitch Party (see below) and mentions that, "btw, I got a development grant from a new film fund, Catapult for my project and will be holding meetings at Sundance to raise matching funds for my next film, Soul Trainer." Soul Trainer follows the dramatic life story of Amichai Lau-Lavie whose uncle is the former Chief Rabbi of Israel and who is descended from 37 generations of rabbis to King David. Amichai is Jewish royalty, a link in a 5,771 year-old ancient chain, but he is also the creator of a Hasidic female performance character.His Trembling Before G-d and next film, A Jihad for Love dealt w...

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    Oscar Watch: Iceland - Mamma Gogo directed by Fridrik Thor Fridrikson

    Fridik Thor Fridrickson, an old friend our ours, is here in town thumping for the Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. The N.Y. Times blog The Carpetbagger gives pretty comprehensive coverage of Mamma Gogo, a Meta-Comedy About Movies and Alzheimers.

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    Oscar Watch: Thailand's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

    This film received mucho publicity during Cannes but has very lttle visibility here in the U.S. in spite of its having been picked up for U.S. by Strand and its being Thailand's official submission for Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Oscar. I don't think it will be nominated as feels so off-kilter, albeit totally original. I don't think the Academy will have the patience for it. However, this Cannes winning competition film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul is the penultimate example of how a film from a perhaps underfunded country can get enough financing to be made and d...

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    New Fund for African Film

    Discop Africa conference in Ghana in February will showcase many new developments in African Cinema. District 9 by Neill Blomkamp of So. Africa

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    Producers to Watch: J. Todd Harris - Creative Producer

    During AFM I spoke at length with J. Todd Harris, who we’ve known since his days running John Davis’ Classics division at Fox and from the go-go days of the dotcom bubble when we were both affiliated with a start up called ReelPlay. Todd and I had a wide-ranging conversation that included his background as a theatre producer, his early independent film days, his recent Sundance films (The Kids Are All Right and Bottle Shock), his current projects, and plans to launch Branded Pictures Entertainment (BPE). His two latest completed projects were both launched at AFM (The Family Tree, ISA: Myriad, and Miss Nobody, ISA: Moving Pictures). Both wer...

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    Producers to Watch: AFM Works! Sean Anthony McConville

    As I was getting my badge at AFM, I met a British filmmaker who lives in Toronto and his success two years ago at AFM has brought him back again. Sean Anthony McConville of Mach2Films came to AFM two years ago with a project Deadline and with his producing partner Roger Betterton made a deal with Kru From Malaysia based on getting certain cast. His producer succeeded in casting Brittany Murphy and Thora Birch in Sean’s $2 million debut film and they received an advance from their sales agents epic pictures when the film was completed. Epic to date has sold the film to 35 countries. The U.S. release was by First Look. Its first release w...

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    Eurimages - The Council of Europe - Roberto Olla Part II

    Eurimages’ Roberto Olla was interviewed in a recent blog and it continues here. Eurimages is the Council of Europe fund for the co-production, distribution and exhibition of European cinematographic works for “greater Europe” which goes beyond the member nations of the European Union. Set up in 1988 as a Partial Agreement, it currently has 34 Member States. Eurimages aims to promote the European film industry by encouraging the production and distribution of films and fostering co-operation between professionals. Russia seems poised to enter and Jeremy Thomas is urging the U.K. to get on board as well.During this financial crisis, public fu...

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    Eurimages - The Council of Europe - Roberto Olla Part I

    Roberto Olla, Executive Director, EurimagesIt has been stated that co-productions are driving world production these days, and I have been urging U.S. producers to look at the opportunities that international coproductions offer them. While it is not their salvation, nor is it the right path for all indie producers; it is creating a new and exciting vitality in world cinema. Given the major studios’ current investing in international productions and their film acquisitions to supply a pipeline for their off shore operations; given the German and French financial encouragement for English language coproductions, over the last couple of years...

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