Interviews

The View From the Other Side

The Independent sits down with Matt Zoller Seitz, former film critic for the New York Press and the film-brain behind "The House Next Door" blog.


A still from film critic Matt Zoller Seitz's "Home" released in 2006.

Film critic Matt Zoller Seitz brings a unique perspective to independent filmmaking, sharing his views on the medium that he's picked up both as a critic and a director (see the trailer for his film Home). Seitz shares with The Independent what the end product looks like from the other side of the camera and offers advice to filmmakers from the perspective of the critic.

It takes guts for a critic to venture into the medium they analyze, but acclaimed film critic and blogger, Matt Zoller Seitz did just that, releasing his first feature-length film Home in 2006.

From Dreams to the Screen: From Nightmare to Toronto

Australian screenwriting duo, Armstrong & Krause talk about their writing process, horrific influences and how near-death experiences led them to the craft of portraying nightmares.


A still from Acolytes, screening at TIFF this month.

Up-and-coming Austrialian screenwriting duo, Armstrong & Krause, talk to the Independent about brainstorming horror films and their new film, Acolytes (see trailer), which screened at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

For the most part, our nightmares are something on which we try not to dwell. However, in the case of Australian screenwriting duo Shanye Armstrong and S.P. Krause, nightmares are explored, outlined and used as the basis for many of their chilling storylines.

Living with a Mutation

An interview with the director and subject of "In the Family," a documenary about living with the breast cancer gene.


A still from "In the Family," as Rudnick examines the results of one of many tests.

Joanna Rudnick, director and subject of the documentary In the Family (see the trailer) discusses living life with the knowledge she has an 85 percent chance of getting cancer and what effect this documentary has had on her life, so far.

It’s hard enough being a single woman dating in your early thirties. But, imagine having to tell the person you're dating that you carry the gene mutation for cancer, and will eventually need to remove your ovaries and possibly breasts. Now, imagine having to tell that person you’re delaying the process because you’re waiting to have kids.

Boom or Bust: The Cinema Guild's Ryan Krivoshey

Cinema Guild director of distribution, Ryan Krivoshey talks with the Independent about the evolution of independent film distribution


Cinema Guild's short film "Sari's Mother" has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Ryan Krivoshey, the Cinema Guild's director of distribution, talks with The Independent about the evolution of independent film distribution, how the perception of the documentary has evolved since 9-11 and how Internet distribution has had an impact on the way films are seen.

Much has changed since 1968 when Philip and Mary-Ann Hobel created The Cinema Guild and television was the niche market for all things educational.

Quest for Truth

An interview with director and producer Rory Kennedy about her latest film "Thank You Mr. President: Helen Thomas at the White House"


Helen Thomas with filmmaker Rory Kennedy.

Filmmaker and political activist Rory Kennedy talks with The Independent about her latest documentary Thank You Mr. President: Helen Thomas at the White House about influential political journalist Helen Thomas. The film premieres on HBO on August 18th with additional airings throughout the month.

Rory Kennedy didn’t always know she wanted to be a filmmaker, but she did see herself as a political activist. As the daughter of former U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, politics run strong in her blood. In wanting to make an impact on people’s lives, she gravitated towards film as a means of educating herself and others about political and social issues.

Rider Strong Moves On

Rider Strong talks about his new short, Irish Twins, and "coming down with" hope for Obama


Rider Strong's ad "It Could Happen To You" won funniest ad in the Obama in 30 Seconds contest.

Once a child actor, Rider Strong charts a new course for his career by writing and directing (with brother Shiloh) the short film Irish Twins currently on the festival circuit (see the trailer), not to mention earning the “funniest ad” award for MoveOn.org’s recent Obama in 30 Seconds contest (watch it). Strong talks with Erin Trahan about his first short, his future political career, and why he's a lot more like Arnold Schwanzenegger than one might think.

Rider Strong grew up on television. Not like most of us, consuming it after school with a Hi-C juice box and a Swiss Cake roll, but as Shawn Hunter, the beloved boy next door on Boy Meets World. Considering the fate of other child actors, spending ages 13 to 20 under the hot lights of American television could have been his one-way ticket to rehab.

Werner Herzog Made Me Do It

An interview with filmmaker Lee Kazimir about his film "More Shoes"


Lee Kazimir on his walk across Europe in "More Shoes."

Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog once said in an interview that he believed the best way to become a filmmaker would be to go on a long walk -- say, from Madrid to Kiev. So Lee Kazimir took his advice literally. His journey resulted in his first feature documentary, More Shoes (see the trailer). As the film makes its way through the festival circuit, Lee stop to talk with The Independent about the film and the people he met along his journey.

Stuck in a dead-end job and worried he'd never make it as a filmmaker, Lee Kazimir decided to take Werner Herzog's advice. Legendary filmmaker Herzog had once said in an interview that he believed the best way to become a filmmaker would be not to practice filmmaking but to walk -- say, from Madrid to Kiev.

The Future of Public Media: Talking with Pat Aufderheide


Pat Aufderheide at Beyond Broadcast Conference.

At SILVERDOCS 2008, writer Randi Cecchine talks with Pat Aufderheide, founder and director of the Center for Social Media at American University, about moving their Beyond Broadcast conference to SILVERDOCS, unraveling the complexities of fair use, and taking on the future of public media.

At SILVERDOCS 2008, writer Randi Cecchine talks with Pat Aufderheide, founder and director of the Center for Social Media at American University, about moving their Beyond Broadcast conference to SILVERDOCS, unraveling the complexities of fair use, and taking on the future of public media.

Documentary 2.0: Making Media That Matters

Katy Chevigny, Executive Director of Arts Engine, Inc., the nonprofit arm behind the festival, and Gina Teleroli of Meerkat Media Collective, one of the seven collaborators behind Every Third Bite, another of this year’s official selections, discuss artistic collaboration, trends from this year’s festival, and how the Internet is changing the way we make and view film.


Some members of the Meerkat Media Collective discuss decisions in the editing room.

The Independent catches up with Katy Chevigny, Executive Director of Arts Engine, Inc., the nonprofit arm behind the festival, and Gina Telaroli of Meerkat Media Collective, one of the seven collaborators behind Every Third Bite (watch the film), another of this year’s official selections, to discuss artistic collaboration, trends from this year’s festival, and how the Internet is changing the way we make and view film.

Each June, The Media That Matters Film Festival selects a group of 12 shorts by independent filmmakers designed to spark action and debate in twelve minutes or less. Unlike other festivals, MTM works to promote its selections year-round through online streaming, broadcasts and community screenings.

For Inspiration, Judd Ehrlich Looked to the Subject of His New Film, "Run For Your Life"

A look at the crowd-pleasing Fred Lebow biography that premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival


A Place in the Run: Fred Lebow, shown in the red Mercedes, in the subject of Judd Ehrlich's "Run for Your Life."

Though this year's Tribeca Film Festival was dominated by Scandanavian vampires, a decidely American documentary about, yes, a Transylvanian immigrant from Brooklyn also drew crowds. The film is Judd Ehrlich's Run for Your Life (view the trailer), a biography of Fred Lebow, the founder of the New York City Marathon. He was also an impresario, a canny politician, a PR machine, a womanizer, a visionary, a hot head, and—in Ehrlich's words—"a survivor in every sense of the word." The challenge in making the film, then, was not digging up material, but sorting through a mountain of interviews and other footage. Ehrlich recently talked about the film with The Independent's Mike Hofman.

While vampires made a big splash at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, a documentary about a son of Transylvania carved out a decidedly different niche for itself.

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