March 1, 2014 |
The period drama "12 Years a Slave" swept through the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, taking five prizes including feature, director, supporting female, screenplay and cinematography. It won in all but two categories in which it was nominated. "I cannot tell you, as much as I thought the memoir and Solomon's words and work was special, I had no concept until I saw the movie for the first time," said the film's screenwriter, John Ridley, accepting the prize in that category as he referred to protagonist Solomon Northup.
February 27, 2014 |
The movie financed by audiences will soon be available to audiences. Zach Braff's “Wish I Was Here,” funded in part by more than 46,000 donors on Kickstarter, will hit theaters in Los Angeles and New York on July 18, distributor Focus Features said Thursday. It will roll out to other cities in the weeks following, The date means Focus, which acquired the movie at the Sundance Film Festival last month, will position the relationship-oriented “Wish” as a summer counter-programmer -- call it an emotional tent pole -- a la “Little Miss Sunshine,” instead of dating it for the early fall, when it would be out of the cross-hairs of the big summer movies but somewhat more dependent on reviews.
January 16, 2014 |
The 30th Sundance Film Festival, which begins Thursday evening and runs through Jan. 26, is not only the nation's top showcase for independent film but also one of the biggest marketplaces for movies made outside the studio system. Scores of acquisition executives from the biggest distributors of specialized cinema -- including Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics -- will jostle alongside some upstart outfits, including A24 and CBS Films, for rights to release the best Sundance offerings.
January 9, 2014 |
"A New York Heartbeat" didn't find its way to the screen as quickly as the underlying play-on-words it suggests. The independent film, which was shot on location in Pittsburgh in 2010, is a gangland tale set in 1950s New York, and began turning up at smaller film festivals last year. The long delay speaks to one of the challenges of being an indie filmmaker, notes writer-director Tjardus Greidanus, who is Dutch Canadian. Finding the time to stitch together the film was a big hurdle, and he is still looking for a distribution deal. "For indie filmmakers, it's now a do-it-yourself world," Greidanus said.
December 15, 2013 |
Tom Laughlin, who came to fame as the half-Native American, half-white ex-Green Beret in the 1971 indie blockbuster "Billy Jack," died Thursday at age 82. A lot of his films are on DVD and on streaming services. If you want to go back to his earliest films, check out "The Delinquents" (1957) -- which was directed by Robert Altman -- "South Pacific" (1958) and even "Gidget" (1959). And for those who want to revisit his best-known films, or perhaps see them for the first time, here are five: PHOTOS: Tom Laughlin, filmmaker who drew huge following for 'Billy Jack,' dies "The Born Losers": Laughlin first introduced Billy Jack in this low-budget 1967 biker film, which American International Pictures released in 1968.
December 12, 2013 |
Awards season is a boisterous clamor for attention, full of prestige picture releases and endless marketing dollars strewn to support them - all with the goal of taking home a few statues early next year. But amid the ado there are exceptions: The low-budget, slow-burn films that refuse to go away and end up on nomination lists. Think "Precious," think "Winter's Bone," think "Beasts of the Southern Wild. " Filmmakers know those pictures run on charisma and not marketing dollars, but they also know that awards season is when they can shine.