Making Films

Redemption Hunters

Willem Dafoe and director Daniel Nettheim discuss themes from their latest collaboration, "The Hunter," in which Dafoe's character stalks an endangered tiger.

"The Hunter" stars Willem Dafoe (L) and Sam Neill (R).

The Australian-helmed mercenary's tale, The Hunter starring Willem Dafoe, pushed the actor to re-think hunting and what it means to want, and receive, redemption. Now on VOD, the film opens in North American theaters on April 6th. Katherine Brodsky spoke to Dafoe and director Daniel Nettheim about the project.

In The Hunter, Willem Dafoe plays Martin, a mercenary who is sent from Europe by a mysterious biotech company to the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for the last Tasmanian tiger, something that most people believe does not exist. There, he discovers something even more precious than the tiger.

Coolidge Corner Theatre Honors Viggo Mortenson

Given annually since 2004, the Coolidge Award is one of many ways that Brookline's Coolidge Corner Theatre leads other indie cinemas by example.

Viggo Mortenson accepts the 2012 Coolidge Award.

He may appear small here but larger than life Viggo Mortenson accepted the 2012 Coolidge Award with grace and humility, according to The Independent's Mike Sullivan, who attended the ceremony celebrating Mortenson's accomplishments.

At least 45 different groups of film critics and professionals give out annual awards and it’s become part of the territory for heated debate to follow. Is the process fair? Do the right people win? Are awards just one more way to draw attention to celebrity culture?

Fever Dreams, Middle-Eastern Video Diaries, the Quest for Inspiration, and Memories on Tap

Neil Kendricks on the feature films from Sundance 2012.

Still from "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Sundance 2012 Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic winner.

"The cumulative effect of both [5 Broken Cameras and ½ Revolution] makes you feel like you are there vicariously experiencing the events from the filmmakers’ subjective vantage points," writes Neil Kendricks about two standout features from Sundance 2012. He recaps fest highs and lows, including Grand Jury Prize winner, Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Utah, PARK CITY – For filmmakers, screenwriters, video artists and actors looking for inspiration or funding, or both, the 2012 Sundance Film Festival was the destination of choice. I started making the trek to Park City circa 2001, and I’ve been going, on and off, ever since, always on the lookout for undiscovered diamonds in the rough.

Alchemy Springs from the Striking Artistry of Sundance Shorts

From hand-drawn stick figures to real life pirates, Neil Kendricks describes the most captivating shorts from Sundance 2012.

Anna Musso is a filmmaker to watch, according to Kendricks. (Still from her short "L Train" above.)

Lucy Walker’s The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom picked up Sundance's jury prize for short non-fiction and an Academy Award nomination. Hers is one of many shorts on Neil Kendricks' must-watch list from Sundance 2012.

Utah, PARK CITY – When it comes to challenging and adventurous short films, the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s mojo was in top form as the nation’s most prominent tastemaker for the state of indie cinema, both in America and abroad.

Approaches to End of the World Docs

Courtney Sheehan compares and contrasts the filmmaking elements used by two anti-progress IDFA docs.

Economic historian Michael Hudson appears in both "Four Horsemen" and "Surviving Progress."

Voice-over or not? When to animate? And where to leave your viewers? Two IDFA docs, Four Horsemen and Surviving Progress tackle the consequences of progress by making different stylistic choices.

Two social justice docs at IDFA targeted and systematically attacked the same universal villain: progress. Four Horsemen and Surviving Progress are both "big picture" documentaries that tackle some of today's most globally pressing issues.

Reasons for the Cutting Room Floor

Mike Sullivan learns some lessons from Hollywood editor Carol Littleton, at a new monthly film series in Boston.

Editor Carol Littleton deftly cut together the ensemble cast of "The Big Chill."

An editor's technical toolbox may have changed since the 80s but there are still lessons to be learned from classic ensemble dramas like The Big Chill. All those adults in one kitchen, dancing? Editor Mike Sullivan caught up with editor Carol Littleton to ask how she cut that scene and about the significance of leaving Kevin Costner on the cutting room floor.

It’s not every day that you get an opportunity to speak with one of Hollywood’s premiere film editors. If you ever have the means, I would highly recommend it. For those in the Boston area, the means may be closer than you think.

IDFA 2011 - In Touch with the "Planet of Snail"

Randi Cecchine speaks with director Seung-Jun Yi about "Planet of Snail," which won best feature-length documentary at IDFA.

Here's how you learn finger-braille through the Planet of Snail app.

"I think every doc director is an activist, their army is visual images," says director Seung-Jun Yi. His film, Planet of Snail, about the blind and deaf poet Young-Chan, just won the best feature-length documentary award at IDFA. Seung-Jun Yi has made documentaries for Korean television and is among a growing movement of filmmakers to break out and expand the form.

For two years South Korean director Seung-Jun Yi and his assistant director took a two-hour subway ride to the home of the deaf and blind poet Young-Chan and his wife Soon-Ho. The couple communicates through a technique of gentle finger tapping called finger-braille, developed by the Japanese deaf and blind professor Satoshi Fukushima.

Of-the-Moment Tips on Funding Indies, Social Media, Genre Films, TV Pitches and More

Katherine Brodsky distills what experts at the BNA Atlas International Film & TV Finance Summit had to say about how to get your indie film made and seen.

Isn't it obvious why docs about cute animals sell? Photo by Tim Ebbs.

"Self-distribution is not for the faint of heart," is just one of the most salient bits of commentary and advice The Independent's Katherine Brodsky overheard at the Annual BNA Atlas International Film & TV Finance Summit. Jodi Piekoff, Josh Braun, Warren Nimchuk, Ira Deutchman, Wilder Knight, Karrine Behr, Vinca Jarrett are mentioned.

The hot topic at this fall’s BNA Atlas International Film & TV Finance Summit, the 11th Annual in New York, was how to master the business side of film in order to even attempt the creative side. Discussions among those present, myself included, ranged from marketing to financing and distribution.

Postcard from Northern Ontario

John Charette reports from Sudbury, Ontario about the local films and filmmakers featured at the 23rd Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival.

From Benjamin Paquette's "A Year in the Death of Jack Richards."

For 23 years, the Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival has come at the heels of the Toronto International Film Festival. But Cinefest has no red carpet, and the only big name you’re likely to see is on the screen. John Charrette introduces us to one Ontario filmmaker whose name you should know, Benjamin Paquette. His fourth feature, (Non) Fiction premiered at Cinefest over the weekend.

Filmmaker Benjamin Paquette stood stoically by the theater lobby with his crew, his friends and collages. He quietly greeted movie goers as they filed in to the premiere of his fourth feature film, (Non) Fiction, at this year’s Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival in Sudbury, Ontario.

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?

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