film festivals

Filmmaking for the 99%: 

A quick look at Sundance in 2014:

  • 8,161 short films were submitted.
  • Sundance likes to screen 6-7 films in each program, running 90-100 minutes total.
  • Using those numbers, let’s say the average film is 14.6 minutes.

That’s 119,151 minutes or 1986 hours or 83 days of short film submissions. It would take an individual screener a year to watch, consider, and review each film. Keep in mind, the top films are watched multiple times before being programmed. And all this is actually done in 6 months, with a heavy time crunch in the last 60 days.

It’s difficult to imagine any system being able to maintain a true sense of merit-based objectivity applied to all 8,161 submissions.

Enter DigiPops, an online festival that is attempting to change the game for independent filmmakers: 

DigiPops is the short film discovery application of the future. Here you can submit, vote, and promote yourself and others.  You are recognized for your work through a transparent, fair system of organization and curation called The Pop Machine. The Pop Machine provides you the tools to even the playing field and give everyone an equal chance to be recognized for quality filmmaking. We hope DigiPops can be an alternative to the current market realities: 

  • 99.2% of short films rejected at Sundance 2014
  • Over 99% of theatrical distribution is owned by 13 companies.
  • Less than 0.3% of box offfice distribution is truly independent, not owned by a major international media conglomerate.

I’m trying out the platform with a film I made called A Simple Reminder. Go watch, vote, and submit your own films to participate in the beta season.

The New Chitose Airport festival takes place between October 31 and November 3. The festival’s honorary chairman is legendary Japanese indie filmmaker Taku Furukawa, and the chief of the international jury is Chris Robinson, who is the artistic director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival. The deadline to submit a film is June 23. For details on how to submit, visit the festival website.


As hoped, Locke is going to Sundance! The festival runs from January 16-26, 2014. 

Take a break from checking for flight prices, packing your bags and figuring out who’s gonna walk your dog: the folks at the Sundance Film Festival have added to the first wave of titles announced yesterday.

For those looking to get to some of the stellar festival entries of the past year, the Spotlight section won’t disappoint:Richard Ayoade’s “The Double," Jim Jarmusch’s "Only Lovers Left Alive” (which we saw at NYFF), the Tom Hardy starring “Locke” (we already reviewed in Venice) and the acclaimed “Stranger By The Lake"are putting on parkas and heading to Utah.

*****Locke***** / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Steven Knight) — Locke is a feat of dynamic storytelling from Academy Award–nominated writer/director Steven Knight, anchored by Tom Hardy’s fantastic performance. Unfolding in real time, the film is a gripping story of choices, consequences, and a man who risks everything he holds dear to do the right thing. Cast: Tom Hardy, Ruth Wilson, Olivia Colman, Andrew Scott, Tom Holland, Bill Milner. / indiewire

Tribeca: Morgan Spurlock, Michelle Williams, and Chris Colfer join festival

The Tribeca Film Festival announced its Spotlight and Cinemania programs today, including Morgan Spurlock’s latest documentary, Mansome, period drama Cheerful Weather for the Wedding with Like Crazy‘s Felicity Jones (right), and Struck By Lightning, written by Glee‘s Chris Colfer. “It was important that we head into Tribeca’s second decade highlighting projects that were attuned to the pulse of our cultural climate,” said director of programming Genna Terranova, in a release. “That said, both consciousness and levity play a prominent role in this year’s selection. We are also eager to introduce audiences to a group of films that are reworking genres and testing traditional modes of storytelling.”

Simultaneously, the sixth annual Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will open with the world premiere of Benji, a documentary about a high school basketball phenom who was murdered in 1984 before getting an opportunity to fulfill his promise. “This year’s Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival films explore athletes’ diverse challenges on and off the playing fields,” said Terranova. “I’m excited we can share these inspiring stories — from runners training for the Olympics in rural Africa to Tim Wakefield’s ever-elusive and now historic knuckleball — with both our sports and documentary fans alike.”

The 11th edition of Tribeca will take place from April 18-29 in New York City.

Struck By Lightning, directed by Brian Dannelly, written by Chris Colfer. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Even being killed by a bolt of lightning won’t keep Carson Phillips quiet. A hyper-ambitious and outspoken high school senior in a small-minded town, Carson (Glee’s Chris Colfer) narrates his own funeral and the last few weeks of his life through a series of sarcastic flashbacks in this upbeat and energetic comedy from Saved! director Brian Dannelly. With Allison Janney, Dermot Mulroney, and Drive’s Christina Hendricks.

March 8, 2012 - Entertainment Weekly


I’m a quarter-finalist in the NexTV Web Series and Indie Film Competition!

Okay so I’ve had my eye on this film competition for awhile because it’s super oriented towards exposure (the good kind that involves producers looking at your work, not the kind that skeezy people offer to freelance artists), and ALSO they have an optional “peer voting” segment, which means that YOU GUYS can help me out! 

They’ve literally only just posted this list maybe an hour or so ago, so obviously nothing’s even started yet… but I’ll definitely keep you guys posted!  Fingers crossed!