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Industry News

1 Oct , 2007  

Written by Erin Trahan | Posted by:

A report of news & happenings in the local industry for October 2007.
Email news to news@newenglandfilm.com

This Just In

With the help of NewEnglandFilm team members Michele Meek and Erin Trahan, among others, The Independent is back! Check out the new site and if you don’t already have an account (all past AIVF members and subscribers will automatically have one), create one and subscribe!

Franco Sacchi just returned from Abuja, Nigeria.  His film, This is Nollywood, won the Audience Award at the Abuja International Film Festival.  Sacchi teamed with Robert Caputo and Aimee Corrigan to create a documentary about Nigeria’s booming film industry.

The 32nd annual New England Film & Video Festival (NEFVF) runs October 4-8 at the Coolidge Corner Theatre.  In addition to a roster of indie films (many locally made!)  in all genres and formats, the festival features workshops and a first-ever gathering of several area state film office directors for a discussion of tax incentives.  Look at www.nefvf.com

Patricia Moreno isn’t just running this year’s NEFVF, she’s also putting the final touches on her alter ego over at Garden Girl TV!  If you’ve ever been a “serial plant killer” then Moreno’s series of how to videos and web pages  — dedicated to informing and educating the world on methods for urban sustainable living — are perfect for you.  Click here to meet Patti the Garden Girl. 

And in her free time Moreno and husband Robert Patton-Spruill (of Roxbury’s FilmShack) are premiering the feature doc Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome at AFI Fest 2007.  AFI Fest runs November 1-11 in Hollywood.  To give you a sense of the scope, it opens with Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs and closes with Mike Newell’s adaptation of Love in the Time of Cholera.   Read more at www.afi.com

Michelle "Mothra" Millette has been directing her first narrative feature, entirely in the Boston area.  She planned to wrap in September but she’s also helping with NEVF.  Check out her progress at www.myspace.com/douglasthemovie.  

The Connecticut Film Festival, normally in October, has revamped its format according to director Tom Carruthers.  In an effort to “differentiate ourselves and make ourselves unique,” Carruthers and artistic director Jean Tait are hosting weekend screenings at different locations over the next nine months, then ramping up for a multi-day festival in May 2008.  Statewide, integrated festival models like Rhode Island and Hawaii’s inspire Carruthers.  He is working closely with several independent theaters and would like to collaborate with colleges and universities as well as state government. 

The new approach allows for year-round submissions, which he believes gives more flexibility, and potentially more visibility to indie filmmakers.  “Unlike larger festivals, [with our festival] it’s like submitting to four or five regions,” he explained.  “Your film could get shown 40 times.”  The May intensive will also showcase indie music.  Workshops on topics like viral marketing and web 2.0 can span both groups, he said.  He also wanted to remind local filmmakers about the CT Filmmaker Award.  To find out what’s screening in October and November, or to submit your film, visit www.ctfilmfest.com.  

The first-ever Boston Palestine Film Festival runs September 29-October 7.  More than 40 features and documentaries will screen at several locations throughout Boston.  Highlights include screenings with local filmmakers Ayelet Bechar (Just Married) and Diana Keown Allan (Still Life) as well as the US premiere of Driving to Zigzigland with director Nicole Ballivian present.  For a complete schedule, visit http://bostonpalestinefilmfest.org

The Institute for International Film Financing will host its first Boston town hall meeting on October 4th, 6-10 pm, at Suffolk University Law School.  TBA Panelists will discuss the topic of matching investors to film projects.  Representatives from both financial and film industries are expected to attend.  Details at www.filmfinancing.org.  

Filmmakers Jim Wolpaw and Steve Gentile (along with frequent NewEnglandFilm.com contributor Nancy Babine) are shooting footage for their documentary about artist Gilbert Stuart October 6th, from 1-4 pm on Boston Common.  Stuart is responsible for the famously unfinished George Washington portrait used on the dollar bill.  The public is invited to view an exhibit of Washington portraits “finished” by children, high school students, and senior citizens.  Additional copies of the unfinished portrait will be on display and some visitors will be asked to lend their artistic hand.  Find the exhibit near Gilbert Stuart’s gravesite, at the corner of Boylston and Charles. 


Deidre Scherer weaves meaning into end of life.
[Click to enlarge]

The MFA Film Program has several upcoming screenings with local ties:  A free screening of Marlo Poras’ latest documentary Run Granny Run is slated for October 7th at 1:45 pm.  A retrospective of Ros Barron’s videos will screen on October 13th at 7 pm.  Barron was one of the first artists to receive a Rockefeller Foundation Artists-in-Television grant in 1968, which was a precursor to WGBH’s New Television Workshop.  Both supported the creation and development of experimental video art.  See Barron’s Headgame here.  And Camilla Rockwell’s new documentary Holding Our Own: Embracing the End of Life, screens at the MFA October 21-November 1.  The film features work by the RISD-trained and Vermont-based fiber artist Deidre Scherer as well as the hospice chorus Hallowell, while exploring the topics of aging, death, and grief.  Rockwell and Scherer will answer questions after the October 21st screening.  Visit www.mfa.org

Traveling to Burlington in October?  Catch a screening at the 18th annual Vermont International Film Festival, October 11-14.  The festival selects films in one of three areas:  justice and human rights, war and peace, or the environment.  Judith Helfand’s latest documentary, Everything’s Cool, is on the docket.  More info at www.vtiff.org.  

Find a complete schedule for the New Hampshire Film Festival — in Portsmouth, October 11-14 — at www.nhfilmfestival.com

The Boston Latino International Film Festival takes place October 12-21 at the Harvard Film Archive.  Complete schedule TBA at www.bliff.org.

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Society has three screenings planned for October:  Alice Neel, Portrait Painter; Killer of Sheep; and Row Hard, No Excuses. Visit www.mvfilmsociety.com

Coming Soon

Former Boston resident Lucia Small and Vermont resident Ed Pincus will premiere their new documentary, The Axe in the Attic, at The New York Film Festival on October 6th at 6 pm. The film follows Small and Pincus on a 60-day road trip from New England into the heart of Katrina’s destruction.  Along the way, they encounter evacuees in a critical examination of the universal search for home.  Learn more at www.theaxeintheattic.com

The Boston Comedy Festival (October 7-13) features a night of funny ha-ha films on October 7th at 8 pm at the Improv Asylum.  Check out www.bostoncomedyfestival.com

The 14th annual Slamdance Film Festival (January 17-25, 2008 in Park City, Utah) is currently accepting submissions.  The final deadline is October 9th.  Visit www.slamdance.com/filmmaker to download an application. 

Grub Street and the Coolidge Corner Theatre host authors Arthur Golden, Russell Banks, Alice Hoffman and Scott Heim on Thursday, October 11th for a discussion about adaptations.  Hear guests read from their novels and watch corresponding clips from the adaptations, including Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha, Banks’s The Sweet Hereafter, Hoffman’s Practical Magic, and Heim’s Mysterious Skin. Visit www.coolidge.org

Can’t get enough on writer/film connections?  Grub Street member Simon Augustine wrote about “Writers and Poets On Film” for GreenCine here

Kori Feener of BooseyHawkes Productions is raising funds to complete a documentary, Where There is a Will, about a Middleton, MA family struggling to care for their brain-injured son.  A fundraising event will take place October 13th, 6:30-10 pm at Masconomet Regional High School.  Learn more at www.myspace.com/booseyhawkesproductions

Fans of the 48 Hour Film Project can test their mettle again, this time in just 24 hours.  Apple announces the requirements for the 2007 Insomnia Film Festival at 9 am on October 13th.  Set your Iphones to www.apple.com/go/insomnia, and then write, cast, shoot, edit, score, and upload your movie same day.  You have the chance to get famous people to watch your stuff or be awarded various filmmaking products. 

You also get the chance to see gay zombies, dyke superheroes, ghosts, succubi and even trannies in space on October 17th, 9:30 pm at the Brattle Theatre.  CineMental brings you Queer Horror — a yet to be confirmed collection of truly horrific short films from queers across the globe.  For further information, e-mail cinemental.boston@gmail.com or visit www.truthserum.org.

Valerie Weiss, founder of the Dudley Film Program at Harvard University, returns to Boston for two events in October.  On October 17th, Women in Film & Video/New England will screen her short film Transgressions and feature film Dance by Design as part of its Chicks Make Flicks series at MIT.  A Q and A with Weiss follows.  Then at Coolidge Corner on October 19th at 10 am, she will speak to those interested in learning more about the American Film Institute (AFI) Conservatory graduate film program.  The Conservatory’s Danielle McVickers will join Weiss to answer questions.  Both events are free and open to the public.  Learn more at www.wifvne.org and www.afi.org, respectively. 

Center for Independent Documentary hosts Filmmakers Workshops on October 17th and November 14th, both at 6:30 pm.  The November workshop will introduce ReFrame, a new initiative for Internet distribution.  Panelists include Brian Newman from ReNew Media (formerly National Video Resources) in New York.  Join at http://filmmakersworkshop.ning.com/

Werner Herzog will present a screening of his new film Encounters at the End of the World at Wheaton College on October 18th at 7:30 pm.  Details at www.myspace.com/wheatonfilm.

Beth Kanter will pass on her knowledge of technorati, tagging/del.icio.us, blogs and blogging, RSS, photosharing and flickr on October 18th at a workshop hosted by Filmmakers Collaborative.  Reserve here:  www.filmmakerscollab.org

The Color of Film Collaborative hosts a fundraiser, A Taste of Film, on October 20th to at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury.  The evening features work by Spring 2007 mini-grant recipients.  Learn more at www.coloroffilm.com

Scenes from Caitlin McCarthy’s screenplay Wonder Drug will be performed in a live staged reading as part of the 15th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival on October 20th.  Tom Gilroy (Spring Forward) and Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace) mentored McCarthy during the scriptwriting process.  McCarthy and her scientific mentor P. Harry Jellinck will be present for the reading.  McCarthy calls the film a scientific drama of how diethylstilbestrol, a toxic and carcinogenic synthetic estrogen, harms the lives of a pharmaceutical executive, a feminist doctor, and a thirtysomething newlywed across different decades.  Read a NewEnglandFilm.com interview with McCarthy here.  Learn more about the film festival here.  

The life of the youngest victim of The Station nightclub fire, chronicled in the film 41, screens at The Stadium Theater in Woonsocket, RI on October 28th.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit a scholarship fund named in honor of the central character, Nick O’Neill.  For info www.41themovie.com or the NewEnglandFilm.com interview here

Women in Film & Video/New England is hosting a Legal Lunch with Sandy Forman at 12 noon on October 30th at the Law Office of Rich May in Boston.  Visit www.wifvne.org.  


Larry receives a warning from the ethereal Deidre in Larry’s Home Video.
[Click to enlarge]

Frequent NewEnglandFilm.com contributor Scott R. Caseley hosts the world premiere of his feature film, Larry’s Home Video, on November 3rd at the Stockbridge Theatre at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, NH.  The event starts at 8 pm; doors open at 7 pm.  Larry’s Home Video was shot throughout NH and MA.  In the film Larry is plagued by murderous nightmares and has to figure out how to lead a normal life.  Caseley’s film, seven years in the making, also features musicians from New England such as Dreadnaught, Sand Machine, Zox, and a score by Bob Lord.  Mature audiences suggested.  Email Larryshomevideo@aol.com with your postal address for a free pass.   

Bill Millios of Back Lot Films and Marc Vadeboncoeur of Goodheart Media Services (both based in NH) have three intensive Digital Filmmaking Workshops planned for November.  Producing, Marketing, and Screening Your Digital Film takes place November 3-4; Advanced Field Production: Creating a Great Scene takes place November 10th; and Advanced Post Production: Editing & DVD Authoring happens on November 17th.  Workshops run from 9 am to 5 pm in the studios of Manchester Community Access Media, Manchester, NH.  For fees and to register call 888-408-2365 or visit www.digitalfilmmakingworkshops.com.  

SNOB (Somewhat North of Boston) Film Festival hits Concord, NH November 9-11, www.snobfilmfestival.org

Lynda Lawrence is getting ready to launch Connecticut Casting in Trumbull, CT.  She’ll put her experience running a modeling agency into casting extras and background artists for CT’s growing production scene.  “There’s a lot of work here right now,” she said in a recent phone conversation.  She and husband Frank Lawrence performed voice-overs and radio together and her son writes screenplays. 

Held Over

The Mass Production Coalition gathered on September 27th for its fall membership meeting.  Nick Paleologos of the Mass Film Office reported on the increase of film production trailers, cranes, and trucks hauling dollies around town (in other words big studio productions!) and Chris O’Donnell once again demoed how to maximize MA production incentives.  John Cini, president of High Output hosted the event and toured guests around his Canton facility. 

NH-based filmmaker Deborah Scranton is currently working on a nonfiction feature film that will, in her words, "tell the US-Mexico immigration and border story from the inside out — putting cameras in the hands of the Border Patrol.”  With this project Scranton remains committed to using technology to help people tell their own stories.  She recently launched a new conversation about her award-winning documentary, The War Tapes here

William Murchu of Watertown, MA won a federal lawsuit on behalf of his late friend, filmmaker Luis Fernandez de la Reguera.  The U.S. District Court in Miami, Florida ruled that Mike Broder of Small Planet Pictures failed to market, promote, and pay advance fees relating to the distribution of Rockets Redglare! a documentary that premiered at Sundance in 2003.  Murchu says that he and actor Steve Buscemi, both producers of the film, plan to re-release and redistribute the film about Michael Morra (aka Rockets Redglare) — actor, performance artist, and notorious New York City hustler.  See what it’s about at www.rocketsredglare.tv.  

Mass Cultural Council (MCC) is looking for artists with a track record working in school and/or after-school settings.  Apply to be a Creative Teaching Artists by November 2nd. Visit www.massculturalcouncil.org/services/partners.html to access the guidelines and application forms. 

The MCC awarded a Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) grant in the amount of $675,000 to help Amherst Cinema Arts Center acquire a complex of theaters dedicated to presenting independent and documentary cinema.  The theaters seat 186, 46, and 46, and are each equipped for 35mm and digital projection.  Emerson College received a CFF grant to help convert the Paramount Theatre and the neighboring Arcade into the Paramount Center for the Arts, which will include a complex of theatres, studios, and residential and academic facilities.  The Museum of Science, Boston will use its CFF grant to make improvements to Mugar Omni Theater and Hayden Planetarium. 

Cheryl Eagan-Donovan read from Kerouac’s On the Road at September’s 50th anniversary event in Lowell, MA.  She dedicated the reading to her dad, “who loved poetry, wrote some himself . . . and continues to inspire me.”  She also heard word from her London crew that Controversy Films was granted permission to film several scenes crucial to her documentary-in-progress, Nothing is Truer Than Truth, based on the life of playwright Edward de Vere. 

Phillip Peterson is making a documentary “on homeless people and single mothers in Chittenden County Vermont.”  Peterson was doing a land survey of the Church Street Marketplace for the city of Burlington when he met and talked with several homeless people to better understand their circumstances.  He expects to finish the film this fall; it will run about an hour.  

Said Kakese Dibinga was born and raised in The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Boston.  He wrote NewEnglandFilm.com with an update from his current home, LA: “I’ve just begun pre-production on a feature film that I wrote and am producing called Once Upon a Time in the Congo (see clip).” He is also working on a film about the Haitian Revolution. “We have a few recognizable actors attached and a heavy dose of New England actors that have relocated to Los Angeles,” he wrote.

Debra Crosby’s Peace, Love and Hope —You Make Them Happen! was one of the many local films featured in last month’s Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival.  Crosby, of Salem, MA, spent two weeks in Dakar, Senegal taping middle and high school students’ reactions to new computers donated by a Salem nonprofit.  She didn’t realize the film held universal appeal until she showed it to others.  It made them want to visit the region and create new opportunities for education there.

Screenings, festivals, meetings and other events at www.NewEnglandFilm.com/events/


Screenings, festivals, meetings and other events at www.NewEnglandFilm.com/events/