From Screen to Political Action, Cinema Politica is a Global Catalyst

Patrick Pearce profiles the Montreal-based organization as it celebrates a decade of documentary activism.

Ten years after founding Cinema Politica, Svetla Turnin, Ezra Winton, and their organization, are still going strong.

Cinema Politica is the world’s largest campus and community-based documentary screening network, reaching a total audience of over one million across its network each year. Engaged, questioning, eager to take action: this is the type of audience filmmakers dream of.

A mid-August Wednesday evening in a Montreal park. Four hundred people have come out for an outdoor screening of The Corporation.

Postcard from DocsBarcelona

Northeast Spain hosts an impressive documentary festival and pitch session every May.

From the web doc, "Alma, A Tale of Violence."

Documentarian Greta Schiller takes in the 16th year of DocsBarcelona and its array of global docs ranging from the traditional to the cutting edge. Violence emerged as an important theme and many docs Schiller saw handled the topic with gripping storytelling approaches.

Last year I had the great privilege to live and work in Barcelona, a city that has regenerated itself in spectacular ways since I first visited in 1986 to present my debut documentary Before Stonewall.

Film Festival Scholarship and Professional Networks on the Rise

The Film Festival Academy and Film Festival Research Network are two examples of how scholars and festival professionals are sharing knowledge and tools.

Film Festival Academy is a membership network of festival professionals and scholars.

According to Film Festival Academy co-founder Tomas Prasek, "I have seen so much useless competition in areas where collaboration would have benefited both parties...everybody says, ‘How do other festivals deal with that?’ and that's exactly what people should be asking through some kind of platform." He recently told The Independent's Courtney Sheehan why professionals could benefit from playing on the same team.

As international film festival circuits become increasingly visible online, scholarly interest in festivals as objects of study, particularly outside the US, continues to grow. At the same time, festival professionals are realizing the potential in forming collaborative partnerships through membership networks.

Arnon Goldfinger Opens the Door to Moral Dilemmas in "The Flat"

Family archival documents play a key role in Arnon Goldfinger's THE FLAT.

Hailed as one of the most important Israeli documentaries of recent years, Arnon Goldfinger's The Flat exposes family secrets and raises moral questions which Goldfinger recently discussed with a non-fiction theory class taught by USC's Michael Renov. Reported by Wendy Dent, who premieres her family-inspired film December 25 at IDFA.

Documentary filmmaking often means opening wounds. And that means wrestling with moral dilemmas. For documentary filmmakers, those issues can be the most unsettling.

Personal Take on 10 to Watch filmmaker Mike Day

Nathaniel Mann describes meeting his Intrepid Cinema colleague and the heights they'll climb to make films together.

This is what Intrepid Cinema's filmmaking looks like!

We love our 10 to Watch filmmakers so much we just want to keep talking about them! Here's the inside scoop on 10 to Watch's Mike Day from his friend, colleague, and co-conspirator, musician Nathaniel Robin Mann.

Director Mike Day, 10 to Watch in 2012, is the one-man turbine behind Intrepid Cinema's documentaries. Here, Intrepid's composer and on-location sound designer Nathaniel Mann tells The Independent about their friendship and working relationship:

John Madden Acts His Age

Known for directing major movies, John Madden explains how "Marigold" breaks mainstream rules.

From John Madden's "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

Though he makes major motion pictures with traditional distribution, John Madden pushes against age bias with today's US release of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring only actors over 60.

Director John Madden, who started out in producing British television, has made a name for himself across the pond helming films such as Shakespeare in Love, Proof and more recently, The Debt.

Rendez-Vous With French Cinema 2012 - Critic's Choice

Kurt Brokaw reviews his top choices from the 17th annual showcase of contemporary French film.

Tahar Rahim in Ismael Ferroukhi's "Free Men."

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw brings us a second consecutive year of critic's choices from Rendez-Vous With French Cinema, running March 1-11, 2012. His picks include Free Men, Unforgivable, Untouchable, 17 Girls, 38 Witnesses and The Well Digger’s Daughter.

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw is viewing the prescreened main slate of the 2012 Rendez-vous With French Cinema showing March 1-11, at the Walter Reade Theatre, BamCinematex, and IFC Center. His critic’s choices from among 20 films include:

Free Men (Les Hommes Libres)
(Ismael Ferroukhi. 2011. France. 99 min.)

State of the Film Industry in Southeast Europe

Courtney Sheehan reports from the third annual Cinelink forum at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

Oleg Novkovic's "White White World" is a transnational production of Serbia, Sweden, and Germany.

Tax incentives. Public and private funding. Transnational co-productions. During a year abroad to study regional film festivals and exhibition, Courtney Sheehan takes in Southeast Europe through the lens of presenters at the third annual industry Cinelink forum during the Sarajevo Film Festival.

For the past three years, film professionals from all over Southeast Europe have gathered at the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) to discuss the state of the regional film industry during the Cinelink forum, the track of the festival established for that purpose.

Lessons in Perseverance

Print journalist Geoff Edgers takes a turn as a documentarian with "Do it Again," about his tireless effort to reunite the Kinks.

Geoff Edgers (right) convinces Sting to sing along in "Do it Again."

What if your favorite band had separated and you could be the reason they reunited? What if you could convince Sting to sing and play guitar with you backstage? Music journalist Geoff Edgers dared to dream and from those dreams came his first documentary, Do it Again. He discussed the making of with The Independent's Erin Trahan.

With latent teen rocker angst and a career as a print music journalist threatened to the point of extinction, Geoff Edgers hit mid-life determined to shake things up. Part one of his plan: get the Kinks back together after a decades-long split between the band’s two lead figures, brothers Ray and Dave Davies. Part two: in lieu of a reporter’s notebook, bring a documentary film crew.

Struggle and Triumph for Haiti's Ciné Institute

Against all odds, students and faculty at Haiti's Ciné Institute use their cameras to transform pain and destruction into artful moving images.

The tent that functions as Ciné Institute's classroom.

In a special report for The Independent, Beth Brosnan speaks with students and staff of Ciné Institute, Haiti's only professional film school, about life after the region's devastating earthquake. Brosnan explores how, months later, they're using filmmaking techniques to cope with tragedy, rebuild, and even thrive in the face of adversity.

On January 12th, Haiti’s only professional film school, Ciné Institute, lost its main building in the massive earthquake that devastated the Port-au-Prince region.

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