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indieWIRE Interviews Competition Filmmakers

indieWIRE Interviews Competition Filmmakers

The folks at indieWIRE are kicking off their extensive SXSW coverage by launching interviews with all of the competition feature filmmakers. Stay tuned for more to come, but so far they include:

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“I’ve always loved classic verite campaign films, but wanted to make one with a slightly different take, so I thought it would be fun to make a film about teenagers running for office. Of course, Alexander Payne’s ‘Election’ was a big inspiration. An early challenge about this kind of election film was that I wanted to find a race that was taken somewhat seriously by the students at the school, not one where only five people cared; I wanted the film to tell an actual election story, not one that had to be fabricated for the purposes of a film. So when I found out about Stuyvesant’s elections, with their primaries, demographic interests, televised debates, etc., I thought it was the perfect story to tell.”
Caroline Suh, from FrontRunners

“My wife told me stories about an actual pyramid-scheme salesman. He was an ex-preacher and struggling music teacher selling pre-paid legal insurance. Although I never met him, he sounded incredibly sympathetic. And the salesman motif is a great structure for film because it forces your main man into various episodic confrontations with different people. It’s a lot like proselytizing- something I did a bit of as a child. But the scam is universal. Jeff Clark, the actor who plays Thomas Lindsey, would in fact make the world’s worst salesman (but that’s the best thing Jeff – so don’t feel bad!). I gave him a pitch and demanded he be charming, slick and sure. What we see in the film are his very best attempts. The harder he tries, the more hilarious and unbearable it is to watch.”
Jake Mahaffy, from Wellness

“I honestly don’t believe there is anything a filmmaker can do at a festival to alter the destiny of his or her film. If people love the film and some distributor or sales agent thinks they can make a buck off of it, then something will happen. Me hounding the guy at ThinkFilm or leaving thousands of postcards around Austin is at best futile, and possibly even counterproductive. So, my goals for SXSW are to hang with my buddy Clint Jordan, who I miss terribly since he moved to LA. Several of the cast, the editor Seth Anderson, and Sam Bisbee the composer will also be there, so we’re going to have fun in Austin. We’re going to sit back and watch our movie, which we all worked so hard to bring into the world, projected on the big screen, and it’s going to be awesome.”
Joe Maggio, from Paper Covers Rock

“The initial inspiration for ‘Yeast’ was all the thinking I’d been doing about friendship, female friendships in particular. I am the type of person who has never had a large group of close friends, usually I’ll have one or two very intensely close friendships. This was especially true when I was younger. I initially tried writing out a lot of the ideas that are explored in ‘Yeast’ as a novel, but this didn’t work for a couple reasons: a. I am not a novelist and b. all of my ideas were very verbally and visually based, so they were hard for me to translate into prose. I wrote out an outline and tried to get my husband Ronnie to make it as his next project. When that didn’t work, I decided that I liked the ideas too much to give up and tried to make it anyway.”
Mary Bronstein, from Yeast

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