As we pass the one-year anniversary of the pandemic’s onset in the US, people are suffering from quarantine fatigue and vaccine roll-out frustrations. Even after people manage to get vaccinated, many are left wondering: What’s the point? Why do we have to continue to make the sacrifice? To answer that question, the makers of a new short film entitled Daniel turned for help to a war veteran.
Snake White: Love Endures is a mesmerizing new independent film based on a timeless Chinese love fable. The earliest known written version of the story appeared in the 1600s during the Ming Dynasty. Over the centuries it has been repeated many times in operas, movies and television series and is considered to be one of China's Four Great Folktales. This latest film, while faithful to the spirit of the original folktale, is almost in a category of its own as it combines traditional Cantonese opera with modern music and breathtaking visual effects.
Claudia Raschke is an award-winning New York City based cinematographer best known for such films as Oscar-nominated and Emmy winning RBG (Magnolia/ Participant/ CNN), Oscar-nominated God is Bigger Than Elvis (HBO), Peabody Award-winning Black Magic (ESPN), Oscar short-listed Mad Hot Ballroom (Paramount), Particle Fever (Bond), Atomic Homefront (HBO), and The Freedom to Marry (Argot Pictures). Her latest film, which screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is My Name is Pauli Murray. Fifteen years before Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat, and a full decade before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned separate-but-equal legislation, Pauli Murray was already knee-deep fighting for social justice. A pioneering attorney, activist and dedicated memoirist, Murray shaped landmark litigation—and consciousness— around race and gender equity. As an African American youth raised in the segregated South—who was also wrestling with broader notions of gender identity—Murray understood, intrinsically, what it was to exist beyond previously accepted categories and cultural norms. The film was made by the same team that made RBG including directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West, producer Talleah Bridges McMahon and editor Cinque Northern. My conversation with Raschke, via email, began with that team.
Erin Vassilopoulos’ directorial feature debut, Superior, is having its world premiere in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Superior was inspired by a short film of the same name that she wrote and directed in 2015 when she was working on her MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. While both films explore the relationship of identical twins and feature the same actresses, they tell very different stories. In the feature length version, when Marian is on the run, she goes to the only place she knows is safe: her childhood home. She is greeted by her estranged sister, Vivian, a stay-at-home housewife struggling to conceive and on the verge of a failing marriage. Though the two are identical twins, they live opposite lives. Marian’s mysterious return disrupts Vivian’s small-town routine, and the sisters must learn to reconnect and reconcile. When Marian's haunting past finally catches up to her, their separate worlds collide, catapulting both sisters into grave danger. I spoke with Vassilopoulos by email during the Festival. Our conversation began with what it was about twins that captured her imagination as a storyteller.
Last month, when the Göteborg Film Festival announced that one person would have the opportunity to watch this year’s festival at Pater Noster lighthouse without family, friends or mobile phone, the idea turned out to be immensely appealing. In less than two weeks, the festival committee received more than 12,000 applications from more than 45 countries. After a comprehensive process involving interviews and tests, one person has finally been selected for the coveted place: emergency nurse and film enthusiast Lisa Enroth from Skövde, Sweden.
The 44th Portland International Film Festival has announced the first wave of titles and special events. Taking place March 5-14, PIFF 44 is a program of the Portland Art Museum’s Northwest Film Center, one of the oldest and most distinguished media arts centers in the country. The festival centers on both artists and cinematic storytellers who are bold enough to interrupt the status quo, and focuses on those changing for whom, by whom, and how cinematic stories are told
iWoman TV has partnered with New York Women in Film & Television and Go Indie TV to showcase the work of female filmmakers and content creators through the 4th Annual NYWIFT Online Shorts Festival. Submissions are being screened throughout the month of January on iWoman TV and Go Indie TV.
Award-winning filmmaker Ky Dickens is joining Yard Dog for advertising projects originating on the West and East coasts. Based in Los Angeles, Dickens has earned wide acclaim for her documentaries and for work for agencies and brands, which often involves real people and heartfelt subject matter. Her clients include Tylenol, Hershey’s, McDonald’s, Koehler, Purina, Huggies, Hallmark and Kellogg’s.
Continuing its long-time support for independent film, Goldcrest Post provided post-production sound and/or picture services for six films screening in this year’s Sundance Film Festival. They include four films taking part in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, and one each including in the NEXT and Shorts tracks. All are world premieres. The festival will be held via new proprietary streaming platform from January 28 to February 3.
The global pandemic has forced the world’s cinemas to close down. The biggest film festival in Scandinavia is therefore creating The Isolated Cinema on the lighthouse island of Pater Noster. One film enthusiast will be able to enjoy the festival in total isolation on a rock far out at sea, with film as his or her only companion. There will also be exclusive one-person film screenings at two iconic venues in Göteborg. Our world looks very different today, and so too does the Göteborg Film Festival. The 2021 festival will be digital, with audience having access to all the films, premieres and talks via a digital platform. Some participants will also get a real-life experience with the opportunity to watch the films in total seclusion: The Isolated Cinema.