Making Films

Afghan Life According to Afghan Filmmakers

With limited access to stories from the Afghan point of view, filmmaker Michael Sheridan set up a workshop to give Afghan people the tools to make their own documentaries.

The struggle to grow grapes in "Water Ways," (photo by Community Supported Film).

From the long walk between work and home to squeezing water from the desert dust, The Fruit of Our Labor depicts daily life in post-9/11 Afghanistan, as told by 10 Afghan filmmakers trained by Community Supported Film.

In the days approaching the 10th anniversary of September 11th, whose stories have you heard? Have they represented the full spectrum of experiences on that date and what has unfolded since? What was the language of their telling?

Overcoming Overemotion One Chocolate at a Time

Jean-Pierre Améris gets personal about facing social anxiety and how it influenced his latest film, "Romantics Anonymous."

Chocolate is one of the main characters in "Romantics Anonymous." Photo by Antoine Legrand.

"Especially for directors, writers or anyone that is an artist, being overemotional is actually both a gift and a curse. That’s your tool," says Jean-Pierre Améris to The Independent's Katherine Brodsky about his new film, Romantics Anonymous. In the interview and the quirky romantic comedy, Améris lays bare his own struggle with social anxiety, the loneliness all people face, and the universal appeal of chocolate.

No doubt that Romantics Anonymous is a very personal film for director Jean-Pierre Améris. He knows all too well the affliction that his film’s protagonists confront: social anxiety. The unlikely romantic comedy pairs two extraordinarily shy and, yes, emotional people.

Just Like Us: The Truth About Light

Writer Lisa Pegram considers her friend Ahmed Ahmed's new documentary, "Just Like Us," relative to her own journeys.

Ahmed Ahmed takes comedy to the Middle East and back in "Just Like Us."

What happens when a friend accomplishes something huge, like finishing his film, when you're still struggling to find your own artistic way? Ahmed Ahmed's new documentary about comedy in the Middle East inspired poet and memoirist Lisa Pegram in more ways than one.

Late one night in early June, I was devouring a novel by candlelight after forgetting, for the third time in a week, to buy bulbs. The room was dim and though it was hell on my eyes, the poet in me was charmed by the whole feel of it. I took a short break to make the book last and contemplate a shadow in a far corner, when the room brightened with the flash of a text message on my cell phone.

It's Alive!

Doc filmmaker Chris Paine assures viewers and environmentalists--the electric car was just taking a very long nap.

The Chevy Volt makes an appearance in "Revenge," as do vehicles converted by motivated car owners.

If you thought the electric car died a slow, tragic death, you're right. And if you're like filmmaker Chris Paine, who helped document its demise in Who Killed the Electric Car? or the inventors and advocates in his new film, Revenge of the Electric Car then you believe, beyond a shadow of the doubt, electric can and will power vehicles of the future. Read what Paine told the The Independent's Katherine Brodsky after his film premiered.

Director Chris Paine is back with a follow-up to his highly touted documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car?, which celebrated the birth and mourned the death of the electric car. With help from a cast of unwavering advocates, Paine resurrects the vehicle in Revenge of the Electric Car.

10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2011

The Independent's Nikki Chase lists the top 10 filmmakers we think you should watch this year.

An image from "When the Mountains Tremble," a film by Pamela Yates, one of our 10 to Watch. Photo by Jean-Marie Simon © 2011.

Wondering who will be named to The Independent's 10 to Watch 2012 list? Here's a reminder of last year's inspiring filmmakers as we put the finishing touches on this year's roll out.

It's time for our annual 10 Filmmakers to Watch list. We’ve pooled our resources and brainpower to get the scoop on who’s who this year.

Crowd Funding 101: How to Maximize Your Online Campaign

Brandon Walter Irvine helps filmmakers crack the code of crowd funding.

Michael Cuomo as Staff Sgt Cole Lewis, both star and producer of "Happy New Year." Photo by Nina Berman.

Crowd Sourcing. Crowd Funding. Kickstarter. IndieGoGo. Everyone's either doing it, talking about it, or wishing they knew enough to utilize these new approaches to making a movie from the ground up. Here's your primer on who, what, and how.

The Big Players and What Differentiates Them

Facebook Exclusive Content for 10 to Watch

Via Facebook, The Independent announces our 10 to Watch in 2011 with one filmmaker (and one piece of exclusive content) per day, from May 6th through the 15th.

A still from <i>Short Term 12</i>, a film by Destin Daniel Cretton, one of The Independent's 10 filmmakers to Watch.

We'll be announcing our annual list of 10 of the most talented filmmakers we think you should keep your eye on by posting exclusive content daily on our Facebook page.

Editor's Note: This collaborative reporting effort was led by Nikki Chase, Maddy Kadish and Beth Brosnan.

Beyond a Social Network

At SXSW, Steven Abrams explores the threads between technology, fundraising, and independent filmmaking.

A still from the film <i>Life in a Day</i>.

What's interactive to the third or fourth power? SXSW and its deepening relationship to all things tech and social media. Steve Abrams comments on how, at this year's fest, the intersection of social networking, fundraising, and technology affected the showcased films and which filmmakers are leading by example.

South by Southwest (SXSW) has become a convergence of film, interactive media, and music, as the lines between these media have increasingly blurred. So it's appropriate that David Dworsky and Victor Köhler's documentary, Press Play Pause, was chosen for an opening night premiere.

Securing Distribution with Netflix

Many filmmakers want to reach Netflix's 16 million subscribers, but submission guidelines and criteria for films without third-party distributors aren't quite clear yet.

This could be your movie. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Indie filmmakers and DIY distributors are vying for a shot at Netflix distribution. Though Netflix added 300 streaming independent films to their service one year ago, the submission and selection process for indie films is still evolving.

By Michelle L. Martin and Katie O'Connell

Doc Doctor's Story Strategies: Looking for the Perfect Producer? Keep Looking!

In her 7th installment of "Story Strategies: Debunking the Myths of Storytelling," Doc Doctor Fernanda Rossi debunks the myth that waiting for the "right" producer will dissolve all of your film's problems.

Waiting by the phone. Photo by Alan Cleaver.

In her 7th installment of "Story Strategies: Debunking the Myths of Storytelling," Doc Doctor Fernanda Rossi debunks the idea that Ms. or Mr. Right producer is just a phone call, or Facebook chat away... and once together your film will live happily ever after.

Myth #7

“I’ll go on with the film when I find the right producer.” Keep looking!

The myth in all its glory

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