Tuesday, May 22
– The Nantucket Film Festival (NFF) announced today additional programming for the 2018 line-up and talent attending the Festival, including co-hosts and presenters for the 2018 Screenwriters Tribute. The 23rd annual Nantucket Film Festival runs June 20-25, 2018.
Actor, writer, director and producer Ben Stiller and actor/comedian Mike Birbiglia will co-host the 2018 Screenwriters Tribute on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Actor Adam Driver will present the previously announced Screenwriters Tribute Award to Oscar®-nominated writer/director Noah Baumbach. Actor Garrett Hedlund will present Andrew Heckler with the New Voices in Screenwriting Award. Hedlund stars alongside Forest Whitaker and Andrea Riseborough in Heckler’s Sundance Audience Award-winner “Burden,”which will screen at the Festival.
Returning programs at this year’s Festival include In Their Shoes…®, a conversation between MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Noah Baumbach, Adam Driver, and Ben Stiller; as well as the daily Morning Coffee With…®, sponsored by The Inquirer & Mirror, a daily kick-off discussion between attending writers, directors, and new host Tom Cavanagh.
Also returning is Women Behind the Words, sponsored by Lifetime, which had its inaugural event in 2015, focused on gender inequality in the entertainment industry. Following a year of new conversations and developments in the wake of #MeToo and the Time’s Up movements, NPR’s “Ask Me Another” host Ophira Eisenberg will moderate a conversation to discuss what comes next. Guests include actresses Jeanne Tripplehorn and Alysia Reiner, television writer/producer Sera Gamble, and actress, director, and producer Miranda Bailey.
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Monday, May 21
– The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) announced today the 20 feature films selected for the IFP Filmmaker Labs, IFP’s year-long fellowship for first-time filmmakers currently in post-production on their debut feature. Combining documentary and narrative features together for the first time, the program begins today, running May 21-25 at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP located in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
The Filmmaker Labs continues its dedication to supporting underrepresented voices, with over 60% of this year’s attending Lab Fellows, and over 70% of the directors specifically, being diverse in regards to gender, ethnicity, sexual oreientation, and disability. Furthermore, this year’s Labs projects represent a range of creative visions from all over the world, with films shot around the United States, as well as Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Lebanon, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
THE 2018 IFP DOCUMENTARY LAB FELLOWS ANNOUNCED INCLUDE:
- 512 Hours For 512 hours, hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world flocked to experience the latest exhibition by acclaimed performance artist, Marina Abramović. Her idea was simple: remove the distractions from everyday life and experience something new. What that experience would be, Abramović had no idea. It was an experiment, she recognized, that could succeed or fail. Adina Istrate (Director, Producer), Giannina La Salvia (Director, Producer), Irina Albita (Co-Producer)
- Bloodthicker Bloodthicker is the story of Young Juve, T.Y. and Lil’ Soulja Slim, three young rappers and friends whose fathers were three of the most influential Southern rappers. Their journeys to success are fraught with the appeals of excess and the trappings of street culture, immutably influenced by their fathers’ distinct legacies. Zac Manuel (Writer, Director, DP, Editor), Chris Haney (Writer, Producer), Justin Fontenot (Executive Producer).
- Border South Under intense U.S. pressure to stem immigration from Central America, Mexico cracks down on the old trails north, forcing migrants into more dangerous territory. Told against the backdrop of the North American migrant trail, Border South weaves together migrant stories from different vantage points. Raúl O. Paz Pastrana (Director, Producer, DP), Ellen Knechel (Editor, Co-Producer).
- The Burning Field The Burning Field is a uniquely intimate portrait of life in an environmental wasteland, as seen through the eyes of four Ghanian children who spend their days burning computers and other electronic appliances in the largest unregulated e-waste dump on earth. Justin Weinrich (Writer, Director, Producer, DP, Editor).
- Charm Circle Catalyzed by her sister’s upcoming polyamorous wedding, filmmaker Nira Burstein delves into the most significant partnership she’s been witness to—that of her parents, which is in a constant state of chaos. A meditation on love, family, dreams and sacrifice, Charm Circle explores what makes marriage a tie that binds. Nira Burstein (Writer, Director, DP), Jameka Autry (Producer).
- Chèche Lavi (Looking for Life) A month before the presidential election of 2016, thousands of Haitian refugees appear at the US-Mexico border in Tijuana. Among them are Robens and James, two friends whose American dream unravels in the eye of a complex geopolitical storm. With no way forward and no way back, what comes next for these travelers? Sam Ellison (Director, DP), Abraham Ávila (Producer), Rachel Cantave (Producer).
- Flood A filmmaker tries to fix her problems with her evangelical father in a screenplay with a happy ending. When her plan backfires, she quits writing lines, starts to listen, and becomes a character in her own movie. Katy Scoggin (Writer, Director, Producer, DP)
- The In Between At the intersection of northern Mexico and Southwest Texas exists a symbiotic community spanning two countries. Through a collection of interweaving vignettes, The In Between explores the border and is a poetic ode to the greater reality of it, offering a nuanced and intimate portrait of a place and its people at the heart of Mexican-American identity. Robie Flores (Director, Producer, DP, Editor), Alejandro Flores (Producer, DP).
- A Machine to Live In This sci-fi documentary paints a complex portrait of life and myth in the space-age city of Brasilia, a sixties-era architectural mega-project, and the flourishing landscape of cults, religious movements, and transcendental spaces that have emerged around it. The film is assembled from found documents and texts from key figures who were called to chronicle this monumental social experiment. Yoni Goldstein (Writer, Director), Meredith Zielke (Director, Editor), Sebastian Alvarez (Producer).
- Socks on Fire: Uncle John and the Copper Headed Water Rattlers A failed poet takes up cinematic arms when he returns home to Hokes Bluff, Alabama to discover that his aunt has locked his drag-queen uncle out of the family home. Through a series of stylized reenactments and an editorial investigation into family VHS footage, Socks on Fire documents the fluidity of identity, personality, and performance in one particular place, among one particular family. Bo McGuire (Writer, Director), Tatiana Bears (Producer), Max Allman (Editor).
2018 IFP NARRATIVE LAB FELLOWS ANNOUNCED INCLUDE:
- 1982 An 11-year-old boy is determined to tell a girl in his class that he loves her but has trouble finding the courage to do so until the unexpected occurs; an air invasion reaches Beirut and the school is being evacuated. He gets even more determined. Oualid Mouaness (Director, Writer).
- Aquí y Ahora Lara’s world takes an unexpected turn when she decides to leave her home country of Costa Rica for the first time to join a dance company in Berlin. Paz León (Director, Writer).
- Clementine A heartbroken woman steals away to her estranged lover’s lake house and becomes entangled with a teenage girl. Lara Jean Gallagher (Director, Writer), Aimee Lynn Barneburg (Producer), Alexander Morris (Editor).
- House of Hummingbird Seoul, 1994 — In the year the Seongsu bridge collapsed, a teenage girl named Eunhee wanders the city searching for love. Bora Kim (Director, Writer, Producer), Zoe Sua Cho (Producer, Editor).
- Lost Bayou After news of her mother’s death, a struggling addict ventures out into the Louisiana swampland to reconnect with her estranged “traiteur” (Cajun faith healer) father, only to discover he is hiding a troubling secret aboard his houseboat. Brian C Miller Richard (Director, Editor), Kenneth Reynolds (Producer), Hunter Burke (Producer, Writer).
- Nhomlaau A young South Sudanese woman is staggering away from a past event that contradicts the way she was brought up. Tormented with guilt and condemnation, she tries to discover who she really is and seek liberty. Asantewaa Prempeh (Director, Writer), Natalie Eakin (Producer), Emily Iason (Producer).
- Noah Land Omer struggles to fulfill his father’s dying wish to be buried under the “Noah Tree” – a tree his father swears he planted but the surrounding village believes that the tree was planted centuries ago by Noah the prophet. Cenk Ertürk (Director, Writer), Alp Ertürk (Producer).
- Sanzaru As dementia engulfs her employer, a fragile home health aide begins to question her own sanity. Xia Magnus (Director, Writer), Alyssa Polk (Producer), Joshua Raymond Lee (Editor).
- Saul at Night With an odd worldwide curfew in place, one man’s life of solitude is interrupted when he meets another woman who suffers from the same bizarre affliction that he does. Cory Santilli (Director), Kentucker Audley (Co-producer), Bart Breve (Editor).
- Siberia and Him Two men fall into forbidden love in a rundown town of Siberia, Russia. Viatcheslav Kopturevskiy (Director, Writer), Anya Elnikova (Producer), Wayland Bell (Cinematographer).
– SIFF has announced the grand prize winner of the third annual SIFF Screenplay Competition. Taking home the Grand Jury Prize is “Youth Decay” by Brandon Hall, a teen comedy about the struggles of an all-girl punk band trying to change the world. “Youth Decay” will receive a live read-through at the SIFF Film Center on Thursday, June 7, 2018 during SIFF’s New Works-In-Progress Forum programming, with screenwriter Brandon Hall scheduled to attend. Other winners include:
“Anh Sang” by Barry Brennessel
“Kibou” by Cassie Hayasaka and Keith Hayasaka
“Plan B” by Paige Gresty
“Amelia Was Here!” by Millie West
“Kelley’s Coffin” by Jon Hartz
“Pale Souls” by Michael Lavine
“The Rodeo King of Brooklyn” by Paul Longo
“Seattle ‘94” by Charles Freeman
“Strange Trails” by Jordan Short
Saturday, May 19
– Cohen Media Group, announced that CMG has acquired U.S. distribution rights to “Girls of the Sun,” directed by Eva Husson and starring Golshifteh Farahani and Emmanuelle Bercot, and “Ash Is Purest White,” directed by Jia Zhangke starring Tao Zhao and Liao Fan. Both films premiered in Competition at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
Friday, May 18
– EXCLUSIVE: SFFILM, in partnership with the Westridge Foundation, announced today the projects that will receive a total of $100,000 in funding in the inaugural round of SFFILM Westridge Grants. Five filmmaking teams were granted funding to help support the screenwriting and project development stages of their narrative feature films. SFFILM Westridge Grants, which are awarded twice annually, are designed for US-based filmmakers whose stories take place primarily in the United States and focus on the significant social issues and questions of our time. The next application period is now open.
SFFILM Westridge Grants provide film projects support in their critical early stages, safeguarding filmmakers’ creative processes and allowing artists to concentrate on thoughtfully developing their stories while building the right strategy and infrastructure to guide them through financing and production.
“The Westridge Foundation is an incredible new ally in empowering US-based filmmakers grounded in Bay Area values,” said Caroline von Kühn, SFFILM Director of Artist Development. “This grant supports artists grappling with important topics in our country’s culture. This group of inaugural winners, through their valuable perspectives and historically underrepresented voices, will shape how we engage in conversations about these topics, collectively and with one another.”
Check out the full list of winners, plus information on their films, below.
Lana Wilson, writer/director; Shrihari Sathe, producer – screenwriting – $20,000
An immigrant woman leaves her young son alone in the back seat of a car, setting off a firestorm of controversy in the liberal community where she lives. As the town’s latent xenophobia bubbles to the surface, and the woman’s parenting abilities are scrutinized in increasingly disturbing ways, she fights to prove that she’s a worthy mother — to the town, to her children, and to herself.
Russell Nichols, writer – screenwriting – $20,000
A traumatized Black boy, whose brother was killed by a cop, volunteers for an experiment that tests his powers of prediction to prevent future murders.
Channing Godfrey Peoples, writer/director; Neil Creque Williams, producer – development – $20,000
Turquoise, a former beauty pageant queen turned hardworking single mother, enrolls her rebellious daughter, Kai, in the “Miss Juneteenth” pageant to compete for the grand prize — a college scholarship. Determined to keep Kai from making her same mistakes in life, Turquoise saves her tips from working at a juke joint to buy her daughter the grandest pageant dress of all. However, Kai is more interested in her school’s dance team and chasing her high school crush.
Jaime Sisley, writer/director; Kelly Thomas and David Ariniello, producers – development – $20,000
For years, teen brothers Ethan and Derek Reynolds have tried to help their mother, Michelle, overcome her prescription drug addiction with little success. When Michelle goes missing after another binge, Ethan and Derek begin to question whether they should continue trying to find and help Michelle, or move on with their lives at the expense of saving her.
Maya Perez, writer – screenwriting – $20,000
Based on actual events, “Taliesin” tells the story of a young Black couple hired to work at the infamous Taliesin home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The remote location becomes a pressure cooker, and tensions around race and gender boil over with tragic consequences — the most horrific mass murder in Wisconsin history.
Thursday, May 17
– The 2018 Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF) has announced that it is hosting a selection of short documentaries from The New York Times’ Times Documentaries co-presented with a mix of BFF’s animated and experimental films for the opening night program of the festival’s 21st edition: “Threshold.” The event will take place on Friday, June 1st at Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the BFF and the Times Documentaries filmmakers, and will be moderated by Brooklyn Film Festival Executive Director Marco Ursino.
This year’s festival is comprised of approximately 125 features and shorts from 30 countries spread over all continents, except Antarctica. The lineup includes 19 world premieres, 21 USA bows, 37 east coast debuts, and 30 first-time screenings in NYC. The festival will present in total 36 short narrative films, 16 short documentary films, 25 animated films, and 20 experimental films. You can see the full lineup, plus showtime and ticket information, right here.
– The Music Box Theatre has announced their full slate of 2018 programming and guests for the sophomore year of Cinepocalypse, which will take place June 21 – 28 at Chicago’s majestic Music Box Theatre. In addition to the previously-announced world premiere of Michael Winnick’s “Malicious,” Cinepocalypse will host the first looks at eight other features, including the Opening Night film, Mike P. Nelson’s “The Domestics” (starring Kate Bosworth and Tyler Hoechlin); Blumhouse’s “Boogeyman Pop”; and Snowfort Pictures’ killer drone thriller “Hover.”
Four-day access and full festival badges are currently on sale at the festival’s official website, and single tickets will go on sale Wednesday, May 23.
Tuesday, May 15
– The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) SummerDocs series returns for its tenth year to present entertaining and engaging documentary filmmaking and revolutionary storytellers to the East End. In the anniversary year the series will kick off with a screening of HBO’s “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind” on Friday, June 29, at 7:00pm, followed by “Bathtubs Over Broadway” on Saturday, July 21, at 7:00pm, and concluding with “Chef Flynn” on Saturday, August 25, at 7:00pm. This year’s series is presented by Out East, a new real estate destination by StreetEasy.
Monday, May 14
– Kino Lorber has acquired North American rights to Jean-Luc Godard’s Cannes premiere “The Image Book” (Le Livre D’Image), which had its world premiere in competition at the festival. The deal is a reteaming of the director and the indie label, which also picked up his “Goodbye to Language” after it debuted in Cannes in 2014. The outfit is planning a 2019 theatrical release for the new essay film. The film is in Arabic, English, French and Italian.
Wednesday, May 9
– Kino Lorber has announced that it has acquired all North American rights to Jean Paul Civeyrac’s new feature, “A Paris Education,” which had its world premiere at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival in its Panorama section earlier this year. The deal was negotiated by Kino Lorber Sr. Vice President Wendy Lidell and Laure Parleani of Les Films du Losange and signed at the Cannes Film Market, which kicked off officially today.
The film “centers on Etienne who comes to Paris to study filmmaking at the Sorbonne. He meets Mathias and Jean-Noël who share his passion for films. But as they spend the year studying, they have to face friendship and love challenges as well as choosing their artistic battles. The film, shot in black-and-white in Paris in 2017, was written and directed by Civeyrac in two months, and was filmed 4 months later.” The film will be rolled out in theaters in late summer, followed by VOD and home video release next fall.
Tuesday, May 8
– Magnolia Pictures announced that it has acquired North American rights to “Love, Gilda,” director Lisa D’Apolito’s touching tribute to comedic trailblazer Gilda Radner and her enduring cultural impact. CNN Films, which began collaboration with D’Apolito more than a year ago, retains North American broadcast rights to the film.
The film, which world premiered as the Opening Night Selection of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, uses rare personal recordings and journal entries to tell Radner’s story in her own voice. Along with interviews from those closest to her, including her brother Michael Radner and “Saturday Night Live” alumni Chevy Chase, Lorne Michaels, Alan Zweibel, Laraine Newman and Martin Short, Gilda’s writings are read by modern day comedians inspired by her including Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Cecily Strong, and Bill Hader. Magnolia is targeting a 2018 theatrical release.
– Women In Film, Los Angeles (WIF LA) announced the honorees for the 2018 Women In Film Crystal + Lucy Awards® presented by Max Mara and Lancôme. Since 1977, Women In Film, Los Angeles has annually honored outstanding women in the entertainment industry – women who lead by example, are creative, groundbreaking, and excel at their chosen fields. The annual benefit gala supports WIF LA’s educational and philanthropic programs and its advocacy for gender parity for women throughout the industry. The evening, themed “Ignited,” will be held on Wednesday, June 13 at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA.
The 2018 Crystal + Lucy Award® honorees are:
The Crystal Award for Excellence in Film – Brie Larson
The Lucy Award for Excellence in Television – Channing Dungey
The Women In Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award® – Alexandra Shipp
The Women In Film Artistic Excellence Award – NOVA Wav (Denisia “Blu June” Andrews and Brittany “Chi” Coney)
– Kino Lorber announced that it has acquired U.S. rights to Talal Derki’s “Of Fathers and Sons,” which won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize Award earlier this year at Sundance Film Festival 2018.
The film is billed as an “unflinching portrait of a radical close-knit Islamist family and their brutal daily lives in war-torn Syria… In his latest, Derki returns to his homeland where he gained the trust of Abu Osama, one of the founders and front members of Al-Nusra, the Syrian arm of Al-Qaeda. He spent two and a half years documenting Abu and his eight young sons who are on the path to becoming Jihadi fighters. The intimate documentary closely follows Abu and his two eldest sons Osama (13 years old and named after Osama Bin Laden) and Ayman (12) as the two boys prepare to enter a Jihadist military training camp.”
Monday, May 7
– Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group has picked up North American rights to Jim Hosking’s sophomore feature “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn,” which made its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
Directed by Hosking and co-written by Hosking and David Wike, the film stars Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry and Craig Robinson, and is produced by Sam Bisbee, Theodora Dunlap, Oliver Roskill, Emily Leo, Lucan Toh, and Andy Starke. UPHE Content Group is planning a release later this year.
– Grasshopper Film announced today the acquisition of U.S. distribution rights to “Notes on an Appearance,” the critically acclaimed feature-length debut from filmmaker Ricky D’Ambrose, whose shorts have been widely lauded. “Notes on an Appearance” will open in theaters this summer followed by VOD and home video releases. The deal was negotiated by Ryan Krivoshey, Founder & President of Grasshopper Film, with the film’s producer, Graham Swon of Ravenser Odd.
A young man’s disappearance is at the center of an enigmatic, haunted film set inside New York City apartments, subway stations, bookstores, and cafes as the supporters of an elusive political theorist embark on a covert program of indiscriminate violence and censure. But Todd and Madeleine, who search for the missing David, soon enter the company of strangers promising diversion and intrigue, and the reasons for David’s disappearance become much less preoccupying — and less meaningful.
Saturday, May 5
– The Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) announced its 2018 award-winning films and honors at an Awards Ceremony, presented by P&G, at the Crystal Bridges American Museum of Art. Five out of five feature film award winners made their world premiere at this year’s festival. Check out the full list of winners below:
Best Narrative Film: “Lez Bomb” (World Premiere), Director: Jenna Laurenzo, includes guaranteed distribution offer from a BFF distribution partner
Best Documentary Film: “Emanuel” (World Premiere), Director Brian Ivie, includes a mentorship prize package from ITVS
Best Short Film: “The Brownlist,” Directors: Kelly Walker and Ryan Garcia, includes a feature film directing job from MarVista Entertainment
Best Episodic: “Beast,” Director Ben Strang, includes a mentorship prize package from SeriesFest
Best Narrative Film: “Miss Arizona” (World Premiere), Director Autumn McAlpin
Best Documentary Film: “Love Always Mom” (World Premiere), Directors Tricia Russo, Craig E. Shapiro
Best Short Film: “Laboratory Conditions,” Director Jocelyn Stamat
Best Episodic: “Brooklynification,” Director Keith Miller
Best of the Fest: “F.R.E.D.I.” (World Premiere) Director Sean Olson
Friday, May 4
– The 28th annual Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival, one of the largest events of its kind in the world, revealed its feature and short film lineup championing innovative LGBTQ filmmakers from across the globe. The festival, which launched the first ever annual LGBT Finance Forum, is quickly becoming an international home and incubator for LGBTQ filmmakers, both emerging and established. The 2018 Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival takes place May 24 – June 3.
To close the festival, Inside Out will Canadian Premiere “Hearts Beat Loud” from director Brett Haley, opening the festival will be the previously announced International Premiere of Silas Howard’s “A Kid Like Jake.” This year’s Centerpiece Gala will be the World Premiere of Christiaan Olwagen’s “Canary” and the annual Women’s Gala will feature Amy Adrion’s acclaimed documentary “Half the Picture.” Additional Special Presentations include the International Premiere of “1985” from Yen Tan and the Canadian Premiere of “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” from Desiree Akhavan.
The 2018 feature film program includes a total of 49 films. The lineup includes 5 World Premieres, 7 International Premieres and 27 Canadian Premieres from 27 countries. Find out more about the lineup and festival right here.
Courtesy of Sundance Institute
– AFI DOCS has announced its Opening and Closing Night films, and Centerpiece and Special Screenings — with AT&T returning as Presenting Sponsor of the festival for the fifth consecutive year. For its 16th edition, the American Film Institute’s annual celebration of documentary film in the nation’s capital will open with the world premiere of “Personal Statement” (from Juliane Dressner and Edwin Martinez) and will close with “United Skates” (from Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown).
Wednesday, May 2
– The Seattle International Film Festival has announced today the complete lineup of films, guests, and events for the 44th annual 25-day festival that runs May 17 – June 10. This year, SIFF will screen 433 films representing 90 countries and will include: 168 features (plus 4 secret films), 66 documentaries, 10 archival films, 164 shorts, and 21 VR/360 works. The lineup includes 35 World premieres (6 features, 29 shorts), 46 North American premieres (32 features, 14 shorts), and 25 US. premieres (16 features, 9 shorts). You can see the full lineup right here.
– During this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the fest will play home to four masterclasses with directors and actors who were “invited to share their work and passion about cinema.” Those names include Ryan Coogler, Christopher Nolan, John Travolta, and Gary Oldman.
Tribeca Fim Festival
– Celebrating 20 years of “filmmaking on the edge,” the Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) announced today its complete lineup of narrative, documentary and short films. Ondi Timoner’s “Mapplethorpe,” starring Matt Smith, has been selected as the Closing Night film. Artistic Director Lisa Viola said in an official statement, “For our 20th anniversary festival, we are absolutely thrilled to present a lineup featuring new work by a group of extraordinarily talented filmmakers, and we are especially proud that all five of our Spotlight films are directed by women!” You can see the full lineup right here.
– The Fantasia International Film Festival will be celebrating its 22nd anniversary in Montreal this summer, taking place from July 12 – August 1, with its Frontières International Co-Production Market and Industry Rendez-Vous Weekend being held July 19 – 22. The festival’s full lineup of over 130 feature films will be announced in early July, but the festival has now released a carefully selected first wave of titles, along with several special happenings. You can see that portion of the lineup right here.