2014 Winter Film Awards Independent Film Festival

∞Å≈›3nd Annual WINTER FILM AWARDS INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL kicked off Wednesday, February 26 2014 in New York City. The weekend festival consists of three days of film screenings, industry networking and after-parties culminating in an awards show to be held on March 1!   Congratulations to our nominees & winners!

Read more about the Festival , see the Official Selections and Screening Schedule.  Check out our Filmmaker’s Reception & Kick-Off Party on February 26th and our Awards Ceremony and After-Party on March 1!

A New Era’s Filmmakers Find Their Way in Cuba

Jose Goitia for The New York Times. The director Carlos Lechuga at the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana.

From The New York Times, By VICTORIA BURNETT:   HAVANA — Sebastián Miló barely had enough money to put gasoline in the aged bus that ferried his crew to the set each day, let alone to pay actors a salary.

Jose Goitia for The New York Times. Attendees of the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema.

But Mr. Miló, a 33-year-old Cuban filmmaker, had a Canon 5D digital camera and a story to tell. So, during one frenetic week in May 2011, he shot “Truckdriver,” a tense 25-minute film about bullying at one of the vaunted rural boarding schools where millions of Cubans used to spend part of their high school education.

“It was something I went through myself, and so did many people I know,” said Mr. Miló, referring to incidents of bullying that dogged him at school and, later, during military service. “The subject struck a chord.”

Mr. Miló is one of hundreds of Cuban filmmakers who, armed with digital technology, are laying the foundations of an independent movie industry outside the state apparatus that has defined Cuban cinema for much of the Castro era — and still, much to the frustration of some filmmakers, controls access to the island’s movie theaters.

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10 Myths and Misconceptions about using music in YouTube videos


From Beatsuite.com:  Today’s inspired generation is creating content via their webcam, mobile phone and media streaming devices to deliver their own unique content for broadcast online. However, one stumbling block that continually seems to trip up the masses is the issue of music copyright.

This article provides further information on common myths and misconceptions relating to music copyright to provide education, advice and solutions for those who need/want to use music in their content.

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4 reasons your fight scenes suck (and how to fix them)

Originally posted on Platypus Underground:

A lot of films- both big budget and (especially) low budget- fall short when it comes to fight scenes. They tend to looks silly, sloppy, and sometimes boring. But why? These are action scenes! They should be the most exciting parts of the movie!

There are a few reasons these scenes suck. Here’s how to make your fight scenes kick ass!

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10 Filmmaking Sites You Should Be Reading

filmmakingFrom PremiumBeat.com:  Looking to take your video production and filmmaking skills to the next level? These sites will help you step up your game in production, post production & color grading. 

We’ve rounded up some of the leading video production and filmmaking sites! Check out these terrific online resources to learn about the latest industry developments, get reviews on professional film/video equipment and improve your real-world production skills.

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Winter Film Awards 2014 Indie Film Fest Award Ceremony

Winter Film Awards 2014 Independent Film Festival Awards Ceremony on the evening of March 1 with a gala Awards Ceremony and After-Party, held in the stunning Empire Room at the renowned event space club 230 Fifth.

Video courtesy of Worldcast Inc
Click here for the full list of winners and nominees!

The dazzling awards show included live musical performances from Soleil J and Billboard artist Sessino and featured outrageous costume designs by Natasha Berezhnaya. The hosts for the evening were stand-up comedian Zach Garner and the breathtaking classically trained opera singer and runway model. Radmila Lolly. The entire show was filmed and live streamed to the web via Worldcast Inc, and viewers from all over the globe logged on to watch. Awards were given out in 16 categories including a new honorary award “Patron of the Cinema,” given to actor/screenwriter/director/editor Larry Fessenden for his outstanding contribution to the NYC film community.

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Women in Hollywood Seeking to Help Out New Female Filmmakers

Women in Hollywood Seeking to Help Out New Female Filmmakers

From Jezebel.com:  A group of high profile Hollywood women are joining a new initiative that seeks to help the next generation of female directors.

“Females First” is a project that looks to established industry names to select work from women they think deserve to be highlighted. Jane Campion and Helen Mirren are among those participating in the initiative, launched by Dazed and Confused magazine. Dazed‘s Video Commissioning Editor, Jennifer Byrne said they were seeking an alternative to Hollywood’s “male, middle-aged, middle-class, white perspective of the world.”<

“All the films coming to me are from the same angle,” she said. “We’re not anti-men, but we want to encourage more young women to pick up the camera so we have greater diversity in what we’re watching. Girls lack confidence to pick up a camera because they think they need to be technical but a director is just someone who has a story to tell and can tell it clearly.”

According to the New Zealand Herald, Top of The Lake director Campion sort of broke the rules with her pick (because it is a preexisting short), but who is going to nitpicky about rules with an Oscar winner?

[Campion] picked the first film-maker, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, though she has selected something the Iranian-born director has already made. Needle, which won a prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and tells of a young girl getting her ears pierced in the midst of her parents’ divorce, will open Dazed’s Females First project this week. “Needle impressed me with its humor, clarity and unique tone. I felt something I rarely do when watching short films – awed,” Campion said.

Sienna Miller chose playwright Polly Stenham, who wrote The Face. Other women joining the initiative include Swedish director Maja Borg and actress/writer Sarah Soleman.

Women who are selected will get about $3300-$8300 to create a short film or music video featured on the magazine’s site.
Image via Getty Images.

Why Web Series Matter

ifp resources

by Dan Schoenbrun, IFP.org

Last week at IFP we launched the call for entries for our 35th annual Independent Film Week. This year, there’s one important change — for the first time, we’ll be accepting applications for narrative web series at all stages of development, production, and post-production

It’s a long time coming, and something that we’re all incredibly excited about.

Personally, I’ve long felt a strange divide between the independent film community and the web video world. When I moderated a panel last year featuring some of the Internet’s most lauded web series creators, one audience member raised his hand to ask -

“What does it feel like to be creating such dreck?”

“Dreck?” responded one panelist.

“You know – disposable content. Trash”

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How to start your own production company

The unglamorous side of wildlife filmmaking!

(Photo credit: Paul Williams http://www.IronAmmonitePhotography.com)

From Platypus Underground:  Any filmmakers out there looking to start your own film production company? It can be an intimidating process, but with a bit of research, it’s certainly within your reach. We’ve compiled a huge list of resources to help you on your road to building the next Paramount or Dreamworks!

Filmmaking for Beginners : How to Start & Run a Film Production Company

Starting Up a Film Production Company


How To Launch A Film Production Company

How to Start an Independent Movie Production Company

How to Start Up a Film Production Company

How to Start Your Own Business in Film

How to Start & Run a Film Production Company

You Want To Start A Film Production Company? Why Not Make It A Non-profit?

How an Independent Filmmaker Can Establish a Film Production Company with Minimal Requirements

The Biz of Running an Independent Film Production Company

Jumpstart Your Awesome Film Production Company


Setting up a Production Company -

How to Start a Film Production Company?


How do you start a film production company?

How to Start a Film Production Company

Starting Your Own Production Company

Movie Making Manual/Setting up a production company

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Do Human Eyes ‘See’ Like Cameras? A Look at the Resolution & Frame Rate of Vision

VsauceFrom , NoFilmSchool.com:   Cameras are the “eyes” of cinema, recognizing, capturing, and processing images at certain frame rates and resolutions. But, what about our own eyes? At what “frame rate” do we process images and at what resolution? In these excellent videos, Michael Stevens, host of everybody’s favorite YouTube science channel, Vsauce, shows us how our eyes compare to cameras, not only in how well they “see”, but also in how they “record” images.

In case you haven’t heard, science is awesome, especially the science of cinema. We’ve talked before about how rolling shutter isn’t just something that annoys cinematographers, but is a natural distortion that affects the way we see our universe. This time (and again with a video from Vsauce), we take a scientific look at resolution and frame rates. At what resolution do we see the world with our eyes? Do we see in “frame rates”?

First of all, our eyes and brains process images differently than lenses and cameras. In this first video from Vsauce, which explains the nature of “video”, Stevens talks about the difference in how our eyes receive information and then communicate that information to our brain versus how lenses and cameras do it. A motion picture camera captures single still images that are later played back sequentially at a high enough frame rate that they appear to be moving, an effect called “beta movement”. But, the way our eyes work is very different. Stevens says:

Our eyes are not cameras. Instead, they track onto objects and receive a continuous flow of photons onto the retina, sending information via a chemical reaction to the brain.

The resolution of our eyes and that of cameras is also fundamentally different. When a camera captures an object, it captures it in its entirety to produce an image. Our eyes, again, don’t capture a single image, rather a flow of continuous images, but even more than that, we receive the most visual information from our central visual field (thanks to the fovea), and only there is “optimal color vision” and “20/20 acuity” possible. What does all of that mean? Well — it means that our vision is limited, but it is also, in a way, aggregated by our brain from different sources and with varying methods in order to make sense of the world around us.

Learning this stuff isn’t just good for a little entertainment — it can actually help you see (or even develop) what could be the next revolutionary technology in the cinematic world. Considering how technologically advanced cameras and lenses have become in just a short amount of time, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw developers trying to emulate our eye’s system of image processing with something like — “non-frame rate recording” — “∞ fps” — “continues photon something something capture”.

What do you think about the information from the Vsauce videos? Let us know in the comments below.

[via Vsauce]

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Controversial films and the MPAA

From Doctor RJ for Daily Kos

Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and Lars von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac are being released this month. The movies are controversial for very different reasons, but they’re both indicative of the hot-button topics and issues that seem to always outrage some sector of society. Creationists are outraged and demanding equal time on Fox’s Cosmos reboot. And there are idiots pissed at Disney because they somehow think Elsa from Frozen is a lesbian because she’s doesn’t end up with a man at the end of the film, and it’s part of Disney’s “pro-homosexual” agenda. So when you’re dealing with people attached to Biblical literalism, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that those same people get upset with Noah for artistic license and an “extremist environmental agenda.”Nymphomaniac‘s sexual content automatically made it controversial. The film, which is of a woman recounting her sexual experiences from birth to the age of 50, depicts various sex acts, some of them violent, and some of it non-simulated. But Von Trier, whose list of films include Dancer in the Dark and Breaking the Waves, has a long history of courting controversy. Five years ago, the Cannes Film Festival’s ecumenical jury gave Von Trier’s Antichrist an “anti-prize” and called it “the most misogynist movie from the self-proclaimed biggest director in the world.” Nymphomaniac is likely to engender some of the same criticisms.

So I thought I would revisit a topic I’ve touched on before: controversial films. Which films have been lambasted and created controversy (from either the left or right side of the spectrum)? And did the movies deserve it, or was it all an overreaction?

Given the arguments over some of these movies, it’s also as good a time as any to discuss the way these films are treated by the MPAA. Earlier this year, the head of the MPAA, Joan Graves, brushed off some lingering criticisms of the organization. The ratings for films (G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17) have long been a source of contention among filmmakers, since the standards can be very subjective with no accounting for context, and how well a film is distributed, marketed and attended/sold can be affected by the arbitrary ratings.

Read the rest on Daily Kos

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