Six documentary projects have been selected to receive funding from the AFI Docs/NBCUniversal Impact Grants. They include Almost Sunrise by Michael Collins, Care by Dierdre Fishel, Check It by Toby Oppenheimer and Dana Flor, Newtown by Kim A. Snyder, Raising Bertie by Margaret Byrne, and They Call Us Monsters by Ben Lear.
One of the most distinctive aspects of writer-director Kenneth Lonergan’s new drama Manchester by the Sea is the quality of its sound design. “Making a quiet movie is hard, because, as a sound designer, you want to infuse every scene with something more than dialogue,” said supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer Jacob Ribicoff. “But you have to resist that temptation and keep it quiet and let the performances speak for themselves.”
The upcoming feature film Maine follows the journey of a married woman from Spain to reclaim her identity while solo thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, a trip that is sidetracked when a lone American hiker pursues her. Cinematographer Donald R. Monroe said, “Simply getting to our locations proved a major hurdle. Frequently, each day began by transporting the entire production over a mile via ATVs; then the shooting crew would walk an additional ten minutes to the location. We were often far from battery charging and data transfer stations— the high-capacity P2 cards allowed us to be largely self-sufficient.
The just released short film, The Refuge, focuses on the Gwich’in people of Alaska and Northern Canada and their more than three decade fight to protect the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling and other threats. Filming in such a remote location was severely challenging. As there are no cars in Arctic Village, bulky film equipment had to be transported by ATV or carried on foot. Electricity was also at a premium. Directors Kahlil Hudson and Alex Jablonski had access to just one electrical outlet for use in charging camera equipment and computers.
New York Women in Film & Television has awarded its $7,500 Ravenal Foundation Grant to Debra Kirschner for Mallwalkers. Kirschner also wrote the script. The film follows a retired music teacher – a recent widow and a lifelong goody-goody – who is coaxed by her daughter to take daily walks in the local mall. There she connects with a wild posse of seniors who suspect foul play at the mall, and she becomes determined to put a stop to it.
The Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, who twice received The Palme d'Or, are being awarded the Honorary Dragon Award at the 40th Göteborg Film Festival.
Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music provides a fascinating portrait of the melding of art and technology in the development of popular music. The eight-part PBS documentary finished at Technicolor PostWorks New York. Produced by Show of Force and directed by Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre, the series reaches back to the 1920s, when music was first committed to vinyl, but focuses in particular on the period from the 1960s to the present and the revolution that was set in motion by the late Sir George Martin and the Beatles through their innovative use of multi-tracking.
Erwin Brothers Entertainment and Kevin Downes Productions, in association with the Oklahoma Film + Music Office will start principal photography November 30 on the feature film I Can Only Imagine in Oklahoma. The film is utilizing the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program administered by OF+MO.
Film Mode Entertainment has acquired The Axe Murders of Villisca, a psychological thriller feature from Alpine Labs and director Tony E. Valenzuela.
Sony is expanding its FS Series Super 35mm professional family with the addition of the FS7 II camcorder, which adds advanced features including Electronic Variable ND technology, a lever lock type E-mount, and a new mechanical design for faster and easier set-up. The new FS7 II camcorder is designed for long-form shooting and production applications, especially documentaries and independent filmmaking.