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here. And in addition to celebrating the new flexibility offered doc-makers, the independent community should take a moment to pat itself on the back. The articulate discourse surrounding issues of fair use, the bold stances taken by some filmmakers in claiming fair use, and the organizations that mobilized to study the issue and then lobby support for the changes all, obviously, made an impact. So many times lobbying efforts lead to vague conclusions, but here's a situation where the community's cogent framing of its concerns led to real change.Two huge pieces of news this week. The first concerns the Library of Congress's announced exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which are, on balance, a win for documentary filmmakers employing fair use to include copyrighted material in their documentary films. (In another part of the rulings, the Library of Congress also said it was cool to jailbreak your iPhones.) Read my blog post about the exemptions
The other piece of news is not so happy. The new government in Britain abruptly announced the shutdown of the U.K. Film Council, the organization that, in its words, ensures "that the economic, cultural and educational aspects of film are effectively represented at home and abroad." The government says that film industry funding will continue through its lottery system, but the closure of the effective administrative body clearly indicates the new administration's diminished view of the importance of film as both a marker of cultural identity as well as an economic engine. As I write this filmmakers and producers are voicing their protest in Britain. I hope their words will have an effect.
On another note, as Filmmaker leads up to its 18th birthday, I've decided to give some blog space during the dog days of August to a look back at our past. Beginning next week I'll have a blog post a day running through all of our back issues, commenting on something in each that has resonance for this current moment. Come by and check it out.
See you next week.
Editor IFP ANNOUNCES TWO PARTNERSHIPS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR PRODUCERS IFP and Latin American Training Center will select up to five American independent producers to participate in their Rio International Festival Producer's Panel September 23-28, 2010. The Producer's Panel is a week-long program that runs concurrently with the Rio International Film Festival. Conceived to boost international co-productions and encourage production in Latin America, the fellowship with LATC will be offering many formal and informal networking opportunities throughout the week to assist producers in finding partners for their projects and expanding their international contacts. Open to emerging and established producers, the Fellowship will cover the cost of full program registration fees for the selected producers, but participants must cover their own travel and lodging to attend. The National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) India will select an American independent filmmaker and/or producer to participate in the Film Bazaar November 23-26, 2010. The Film Bazaar is a four-day market held alongside the International Film Festival of India in Goa. It is a South Asian sales and distribution platform to facilitate greater collaborations between the Indian and international film industries for distribution and production. The Fellowship will cover the cost of full program registration fees for the selected writer/director and/or producer, as well as travel and accommodations. Further details on applying for both initiatives here. Deadline August 5. Our Forums page is new and improved! Check out the new categories: how to make films, discuss the current trends in the business, job opportunities and look out for guest filmmaker moderators. Click here to get started.
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The Extra Man
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THE EXTRA MAN Helmed by the filmmaking duo of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor), The Extra Man is a sharp comedy adapted from the novel by Jonathan Ames about an unlikely friendship. Louis Ives (Paul Dano), after an embarrassing incident, leaves his prep school job to work at an environmental magazine and ends up rooming with an eccentric bon vivant Henry Harrison (Kevin Kline), who spends his evenings escorting elderly women around the Upper East Side. Their curiosity about each other leads to Harrison introducing his young roommate to the world of "the Extra Man." The film co-stars Katie Holmes and John C. Reilly. THE DRY LAND The Dry Land, written and directed by Ryan Piers Williams, is an emotionally wrought drama about a young American soldier, James (Ryan O'Nan), who returns from Iraq to Texas and tries to re-settle into civilian life. He's surrounded by people who love him: his wife (America Ferrera), his mother (Melissa Leo), and his best friend (Jason Ritter). But their sympathy can't make up for the things he saw in war, so he reconnects with an old army pal (Wilmer Valderrama). The film is a raw and moving look at life after war, with powerful performances all around. GET LOW Get Low is a Southern Gothic tale set in the 1930s around a strange hermit named Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) who lives deep in the woods, far from human interaction. Townspeople spread stories about him being a murderer and a Satanist, among other things. So it's odd when he steps into town and wants everyone to stage a funeral on for him. Nevertheless, the owner of the funeral parlor (Bill Murray) agrees and makes the arrangements. But Bush's past catches up with him, and may provide some chilling answers as to why he's been living alone for so long. Co-starring Sissy Spacek and Lucas Black, Get Low, directed by Aaron Schneider, has turned into one of the most critically praised films so far this year. This week on the blog, a new indie movie venue in Brooklyn opens in DUMBO (pictured left); titles for this year's Toronto International Film Festival are announced; and episodes 2 and 3 in Sabi Pictures' New Breed series are released.
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BRETT HALEY, THE NEW YEAR By Brandon Harris
A mid season candidate for low budget wonderkind of the year, Brett Haley's The New Year is a quietly riveting, old fashioned AmerIndie, a character driven slice of Florida panhandle life made for four figures that marks the coming out party for Triste Kelly Dunn in a performance that harkens back to past breakthrough performances by girl next door types mired with dead end circumstances amidst sunny, coastal locales: think Ashley Judd in Ruby in Paradise or Lauren Ambrose in Swimming. read more
New Hampshire Film Festival
Final Deadline: Aug 5
Deadline for Online Film Submissions: Aug. 15
Festival Dates: Oct 14-17
Charleston International Film Festival
Next Deadline: Aug 6
Final Deadline: Jan. 7
Festival Dates: April 8-11
Slamdance Film Festival
Early Deadline: Aug. 13
Final Deadline: Oct. 29
Festival Dates: Jan 21-27