Thursday, March 31, 2011
Just a note to acknowledge/celebrate this blog passing the 2,000 page views per month milestone. Granted, not sure what that translates into in terms of unique visitors. And it certainly isn't much in the age of gazillions per day for celebrity tweeters and traffic on numerous big sites. But it's a healthy number for a content-specific blog that posts stuff that's more like articles than tweets. And the number has been steadily growing since the blog first launched.
Thanks so much to all of you!!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
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Thursday, March 24, 2011
Department of Public Information
Announce Opening Keynote Speaker, Films and Panels
for Third Annual
“ENVISION: Addressing Global Issues through Documentaries”
Opening Night Address by HARRY BELAFONTE
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Envision Advisory Board Member
Opening Night Film THE SOUND OF MUMBAI: A MUSICAL
2011 Academy-Award® Nominee WASTE LAND
THE BOY MIR: TEN YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN
A Two-Day Forum Exploring Creative Solutions to Extreme Poverty and Hunger
NEW YORK (March, 2011) - The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI) announced the films and panels for the third annual "Envision: Addressing Global Issues through Documentaries" forum, to be held on Friday April 8th and Saturday April 9th at TheTimesCenter, 242 West 41st in New York City.
This jointly produced event combines film presentations with substantive discussions on pressing global issues. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) serve as the focal point for presentations, screenings, panel discussions and social networking. The Spotlight Focus for Envision in 2011 will be exploring creative solutions to poverty and hunger, specifically focusing on the MDG of eradicating extreme global poverty and hunger.
“As we launch into our third year of the Envision program, I can’t help but be struck by the dramatic changes that have occurred recently. This year’s theme of poverty and hunger are both concerns of a long term nature but have particular immediacy. The world has just experienced a natural disaster that has lead to an example of tremendous need. We are so pleased to be partnered with the United Nations in offering a platform for discussion and potential change.” said Joana Vicente, IFP Executive Director.
“I am very pleased that the Envision forum is returning in 2011. There cannot be a better time to bring together documentary filmmakers and humanitarian activists to discuss the critical themes of poverty and hunger,” said Kiyo Akasaka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.
“As the MDG target date of 2015 draws near, we must redouble our efforts to bring the crisis facing so much of the world’s population into the public eye. Documentarians, who present complex issues to filmgoers in ways that engage the heart and the mind alike, are crucial allies in that effort.”
On April 8th, Envision will open with a keynote address by Harry Belafonte, Goodwill Ambassador, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).“Mr. Belafonte personifies, through his life-long commitment to humanitarian issues, the goals of Envision. We are so honored to have him with us” said Vicente.
Over two days, Envision will present three distinctive documentaries exploring poverty and hunger from different viewpoints and in differing styles. A special screening of THE SOUND OF MUMBAI: A MUSICAL by emerging documentary talent Sarah McCarthy will open Envision. For one emotional night, a group of children living in a slum in Mumbai, India, get a chance to experience a different world as they perform The Sound of Music with a classical orchestra, fostering hopes that it could change their lives. As described by the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival,”In telling this story, McCarthy remains mindful of the gaps that lie between dreams and reality, rich and poor. The film never glosses over the difficulty of closing those gaps, but it joyfully expresses the effort of attempting.” THE SOUND OF MUMBAI is a presentation of HBO Documentary Films.
In an advance sneak preview screening, Phil Grabsky’s THE BOY MIR: TEN YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN follows the charismatic Mir from a childish eight to a fully grown eighteen-year-old. Over those ten years, the film charts a journey into early adulthood in one of the toughest places on earth; a journey that mirrors the current and vitally important story of Afghanistan. Grabsky first introduced Mir in his award-winning THE BOY WHO PLAYS ON THE BUDDHAS OF BAMIYAN in 2003.
Lucy Walker’s 2011 Academy-Award® nominated WASTE LAND follows world-renowned artist Vik Muniz, who journeys from his home in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Muniz photographs an eclectic band of “catadores”—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. His collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives.
Additional clips from thematically-related documentaries currently in production will highlight the panel “On the Front Lines: Balancing Issues and Art in Documentary Storytelling” on Saturday, April 9th.
Another element of the program is 1.4 Billion Reasons, a special multi-media presentation by Hugh Evans, Co-Founder, The Global Poverty Project. Based on leading research, this simple yet ground-breaking presentation clearly articulates the facts of extreme poverty and demonstrates that by making simple changes, everyone can be part of the solution. The presentation aims to deeply communicate the challenges and opportunities of extreme poverty and to work as a platform to inspire and facilitate individuals to become actively involved in eradicating poverty.
Additional panel discussions will include Breaking Point: Food Security and Countries in Crisis, moderated by CNN’s Jim Clancy, and The Role of Women in Alleviating Poverty and Hunger.
The full program schedule is available at www.envisionfilm.org.
Leaders from the international filmmaking community, prominent United Nations representatives, entrepreneurs, activists, journalists, economists, public policy makers, and NGOs will be participating in the Envision program.
Envision is pleased to have The New York Times as it's Media Sponsor and host for 2011.
An Envision pass for access to all programs, including films and panels is $35.00.
To register, go to www.envisionfilm.org.
Media seeking accreditation to attend this event should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The non-profit Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) is collaborating with the United Nations Department of Public Information’s Creative Community Outreach Initiative to create an annual destination in NYC that unites the international filmmaking community, civil society organizations, entrepreneurs, activists, journalists, economists, public policy makers, NGOs, and the general public with representatives from the UN in the shared goal of envisioning a better world for all.
After debuting with a program in the 1979 New York Film Festival, the nonprofit IFP has evolved into the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, and also the premier advocate for them. Since its start, IFP has supported the production of 7,000 films and provided resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers – voices that otherwise might not have been heard. IFP fosters the development of 250 new feature and documentary films each year through its Project Forum of Independent Film Week, Independent Filmmaker Labs and projects in its fiscal sponsorship program. IFP believes that independent films enrich the universal language of cinema, seeding the global culture with new ideas, kindling awareness, and fostering activism. The organization has fostered early work by leading filmmakers including Charles Burnett, Edward Burns, Jim Jarmusch, Barbara Kopple, Michael Moore, Mira Nair and Kevin Smith. For information: www.ifp.org.
ABOUT UN DPI'S CREATIVE COMMUNITY OUTREACH INITIATIVE
As the public voice of the United Nations, the Department of Public Information (DPI) promotes awareness and greater understanding of the work of the United Nations, communicating the activities and concerns of the organization to achieve the greatest public impact. Launched in 2009, the UN Creative Community Outreach Initiative was designed to highlight critical global issues through collaborations with the film and television industries. www.un.org/en/creative
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Dear friend and legendary filmmaker Rob Nilsson sent me the following, that I am sending on to all of you. Both classes are an amazing opportunity for actors AND directors!
NOTICE OF CLASSES
Here are a couple of classes I'm giving. If you're interested, or if there is anyone out there you think could benefit, please contact me. The classes provide unique opportunities to explore the emotional, cathartic side of acting. I've been getting terrific results from people who want to explore these experiences in person. Others, unable to make it to the class, have benefited from on going class notes which can be sent by e-mail. I'm also available for one on one coaching.
I've spent a lot of years making features here and around the world. This is a class which comes from dust in the hair and blood under the fingernails. I think anyone could benefit.
Expressivity for the Actor (8 classes)
Quotes from Actors
This workshop is truly amazing! It encourages actors to dig deep within and to express themselves fully and without limitations. I recommend it to anyone who wants to grow as an actor.
Penny Werner: Actor
"Direct Action" with Rob Nilsson is an explosive acting experience. He motivates and provokes moments of beauty and human experience out of his actors.
Vincent Leddy: Actor
Extremely liberating and totally unpredictable! You often end up surprising yourself in ways you didn't even think were possible. Highly recommend.
Galina Pasternak: Actor
Through his unique approach, the internationally-acclaimed, distinguished filmmaker Rob Nilsson will teach Actors how to experience strong emotion, cathartic energy and powerful human connection. Exercises in relaxation, concentration and strong emotional commitment will be used to enhance confidence and to eliminate mental blocking.
Through the techniques of Direct Action, a system designed for the creation of dynamic cinema, we will work to enhance the Actor's natural gifts, encourage free and courageous performances and to eliminate pre-conceptions, excessive rationality and fear of failure. The goal is an Actor alive in the moment and fierce in the expression of all things human.
All class-work will be recorded with digital-cameras on thumbdrives that the students will keep for their own records and further viewing.
Two Levels of the Class will be offered, at different times:
- All Comers: for beginner-to-experienced Actors
- Master Class: for highly experienced, seasoned Actors: workout and tune-up intensives.
Both classes are for 8-weeks and can be scheduled on Weeknights (7 pm - 10 pm) and/or on Weekends (12 pm - 3 pm).
Start dates: the week of April 4, 2011
Instructor: Rob Nilsson
Tuition: $400 for 8 weeks or $50 per class for "Drop-Ins".
Prerequisite: Approval of Rob Nilsson at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further INFO: please email Celik Kayalar at: email@example.com
Rob Nilsson has made 30 feature-films and has won numerous international awards including the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, the Grand Prize at Sundance, the San Francisco Critics Circle Marlon Riggs Award and several Lifetime Achievement citations. In June of this year, the Moscow Film Festival will hold a retrospective of his work.
"Direct Action Cinema" Workshop for Actors & Directors (8 classes)
Quotes from Previous Workshops
Rob Nilsson's Workshop was a transformative experience. It was inspiring and liberating to meet other directors and actors, to work, experiment, and create together, and to challenge our fears and limitations under Rob's guidance.
Josh Peterson: Writer-Director
Rob's charisma, knowledge, and experience has gone way beyond inspiring me. It has shaken my very core foundation, it has allowed me to free myself of my own mental blocks and fears, and get rid of any falseness that sometimes gets in the way in traditional methods of movie making.
Tiziana Perinotti: Writer-Director
It's been a long time since I've felt this creatively energized!
Arthur Vibert: Writer-Director
Rob keeps it real. His style, his instruction, his direction is real. As an actress in his class, I felt free to express and that's what it's about. I was honored to learn from him.
Taylor Brock: Actor
What I discovered, then explored in Rob's Workshop was beyond any film workshop that I had ever experienced: The truth of the human experience. I now use "Direct Action" approach to prepare and rehearse scripted work. I highly recommend Rob's "Direct Action" Cinema Workshops.
Micci Toliver: Actor
Working with Rob is a pleasure. He is passionate without being pushy. He lets things unfold without forcing and being intrusive, pretty much what directing is all about.
Marianne Shine: Actor
Direct Action Cinema is a grass roots method for conceiving and producing contemporary dramatic feature films. Developed by director Rob Nilsson, its techniques have been practiced in his films which have won the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, the Grand Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and numerous other international awards.
In this 8-week class, we will screen films done with Direct Action techniques, discuss the underlying ideas behind them, and practice the acting and directing methods used in their production. Working in teams, we will conceive and shoot Direct Action scenes to provide first hand experience of the method (all equipment including digital cameras required for shooting the scenes will be provided).
All class-work will be recorded with digital cameras on thumbdrives for the workshop participants to review and keep.
Directors and Actors of all levels of experience can enroll. A sample of short-films & clips generated during the previous workshops can be seen at Videos.
Start date: April 28, 2011
Class time: Thursdays, 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm (8 classes on: April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16)
Instructor: Rob Nilsson
Prerequisite: Rob Nilsson & Celik Kayalar's approval at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuition: Directors - $400; Actors - $300 (Payment Plans are available. Please inquire.)
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Our Filmmakers Alliance screening series at the Echo Park Film Center will now be sponsored by the innovative production services and casting company CAZT.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Michael Frost has gotten a film gig in Atlanta (hooray!), so we will see him and his film "Lana Turner Overdrive" at the next screening in May. Instead we will be screening James Blagden's "Dock Ellis and The LSD No-No". See details below and full program details here: http://filmmakersalliance.org/EPFC.html
See you there!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Just a reminder that the Sundance Institute's online applications for the January Screenwriters Lab are available now in the Apply/Submit section of the website and must be postmarked by May 1.
It may seem a bit premature, but you'd surprised how fast how this date will come up on you and this is the only "open" application since it typically begins filmmakers' participation in the Feature Film Program.
Go here NOW: