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December 16, 2018

‘Child’s Play’ Creator Isn’t Happy About the Reboot: ‘My Feelings Were F—king Hurt’

Don Mancini, who created the creepy-doll franchise that introduced us to Chucky, is angry about the upcoming “Child’s Play” reboot. Despite writing all seven films to date and directing the last three, Mancini has no involvement with the remake starring Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry.

“Obviously my feelings were hurt,” he said during an appearance on the Post Mortem podcast, per Flickering Myth. “You know, I had just done two movies…forgive me if I sound defensive, [they] were both at 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Even though they didn’t get theatrical releases, they were well regarded. And I did create the character and nurture the franchise for three fucking decades.”

Making the situation more difficult for him is the fact that his own version of the series hasn’t actually ended. “It was hard not to feel like I was being patronized. They just wanted our approval, which I strenuously denied them,” said Mancini.

The studio asked if he and producer David Kirschner wanted to be executive producers on the film: “We said, ‘No thank you,’ because we have our ongoing thriving business with Chucky… I hesitate to say too much about it because I don’t want to sound like I’m belly-aching too much. But the producers of that movie are the producers of ‘It.’ How would they feel if there was some legal loophole that allowed David Kirschner and I to swoop in and make our own ‘It’ movie with our own version of Pennywise and say, ‘Hey guys, we would love to put your names on it?’ I imagine they wouldn’t like it.”

With that in mind, it’s about more than just money for Mancini. “That’s how I feel. The people who are making that movie, they don’t know how that’s going to affect my livelihood. It’s not just a paycheck. It’s very personal. MGM’s screwing with that…potentially.”

Source: IndieWire film

December 16, 2018

‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Opens Strong As ‘Green Book’ and ‘The Favourite’ Thrive

Launching new specialized films on this pre-Christmas weekend is always tricky, even when there isn’t a new “Star Wars” opening. Even so, Annapurna’s James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk,” the acclaimed awards contender starring frontrunner Supporting Actress Regina King, delivered a strong initial platform debut in two cities.

Steady as they go: the second weekend expansion of “Mary, Queen of Scots” (Focus) and continued strong showings for “The Favourite” (Fox Searchlight) and “Green Book” (Universal).

Next weekend will also be a challenge, but so far multiple films are successfully positioning themselves to benefit from the holidays ahead.

Opening

If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna) – Metacritic: 86; Festivals include: Toronto, New York 2018

$219,173 in 4 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $54,793

Barry Jenkins’ first film since his Oscar winning “Moonlight” had a strong initial showing in four prime New York/Los Angeles theaters, boosted by several Q & As. This would be an impressive platform opening at any time, especially this competitive pre-Christmas date.

The numbers are about half of the “Moonlight” opening in October 2016, but that film debuted in a specialized vacuum on a prime moviegoing date. “Beale Street” performed about 50 percent better than “Fences” on much the same weekend two years ago. That title, also based on an acclaimed piece of original material, boasted Broadway Tony-winners Denzel Washington and Viola Davis and went on to considerable Oscar attention and an almost $60 million gross.

Annapurna took flak for its late date change. They sought to maximize attention, and they got it. The gross justifies the change, as they are positioned to move into 70 theaters this weekend in a mix of specialized and urban locations, before escalating their release pattern for three weeks starting January 4.

What comes next: The date change guarantees this will move with momentum toward its next stage of holiday play.

Capernaum

Fares Sokhon

Capernaum (Sony Pictures Classics) – Metacritic: 74; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto 2018

$27,588 in 3 theaters; PTA: $9,196

Lebanon’s Oscar Foreign Language contender, considered a leader since its debut at Cannes, opened on a tricky pre-Christmas date in three appropriate New York/Los Angeles theaters. Nadine Labaki’s heart-tugger about a young runaway trying to survive in Beirut debuts at a time when two of its competitors — “Roma” and “Shoplifters” — have already earned better reviews and strong audience response. Saturday enjoyed a decent uptick, suggesting strong word of mouth, which is critical for its future. The drama opened better than Labaki’s earlier releases including “Caramel.” The most relevant comparison is SPC’s Oscar-winner “Son of Saul” three years ago, which opened in three similar theaters to around $13,000.

What comes next: This expands in the Los Angeles area and opens in San Francisco next week, with most other markets opening next month and after.

The House That Jack Built (IFC) – Metacritic: 40; Festivals include: Cannes 2018; also streaming

$40,436 in 33 theaters; PTA: $1,225; Cumulative: $933,744

Parallel to its debut on streaming venues, Lars von Trier’s divisive serial killer film starring Matt Dillon opened in a one-minute shortened R-rated version after a recent one day unrated presentation. As planned, from now on the primary audience will be at home. IFC parlayed the controversy with the MPAA over the two versions to gain some extra attention.

What comes next: An alternative for Christmas fare for millions of viewers is a quick purchase away.

Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki (GKids) – Metacritic: 64

$8,045 in 4 theaters; PTA: $2,011; Cumulative: $67,416

Boosted by Thursday special event showings, this documentary on the legendary Japanese animated director continued to modest results in four locations for the weekend. This short (70 minute) film was originally made for Japanese TV.

What comes next: Its subject guarantees it will have interest ahead, but most will likely be outside of theaters.

“Mary, Queen of Scots”

Week Two

Mary, Queen of Scots (Focus)

$700,000 in 66 theaters (+62); PTA: $10,607; Cumulative: $963,000

The Saorise Ronan/Margot Robbie version of the rivalry between Mary and Elizabeth I went nationwide to about three-quarters of the numbers for Focus last year for its successful “Darkest Hour.” With muted reviews and awards prospects, this continues to exhibit core audience appeal with a quick jump to 700 theaters this weekend.

Vox Lux (Neon)

$244,000 in 325 theaters (+19); PTA: $751,000; Cumulative: $433,211

After some decent initial platform numbers, this quick expansion to large cities and wide suburban play failed to reach an audience. The rock world similarities to “A Star Is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” hurt the film, despite a bravura performance by Natalie Portman, along with mixed reviews. The pre-Christmas date allowed for maximum access to prime theaters, but it’s tough for most films to register this time of year.

Ben Is Back (Roadside Attractions)

$145,543 in 29 theaters (+25); PTA: $5,018; Cumulative: $246,867

The seasonal downturn reduces any film’s potential response, along with stiff competition from several other strong adult-oriented titles. That’s the context for the big city expansion for Peter Hedges’ prodigal drug-using child drama co-starring his real life son Lucas and Julia Roberts. The Saturday increase suggests some decent initial interest, crucial as the film hopes to get into position for prime holiday play ahead.

L to R: Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in GREEN BOOK

“Green Book”

Universal Pictures

Ongoing/expanding (grosses over $50,000)

Green Book (Universal) Week 5

$2,780,000 in 1,215 theaters (+34); Cumulative: $24,660,000

Universal’s dicey release pattern for Peter Farrelly’s audience-friendly 1960s Southern road trip story continues to show good results. On a weekend when even the best films are lucky if they drop 35 percent, this fell by under 30 and remained in the Top Ten. The grosses of many theaters look strong enough to justify holding over Christmas, with the plan to blast this out in many more theaters in mid-January at the time of the Oscar nominations.

The Favourite (Fox Searchlight) Week 4

$2,570,000 in 439 theaters (+348); Cumulative: $6,740,000

Yorgos Lanthimos’ English royal court comedy continues to show significant strength, particularly for this time of year, as it widens nationally. Its adult audience is likely to turn up in droves on Christmas Day. By then the film will already have reached close to $9 million. All signs point to positive audience reaction, which will boost its strong awards expectations ahead. The numbers continue in the same general range of such past year contenders as “Darkest Hour” and “Manchester By the Sea.” This expands to around 800 theaters this Friday.

Roma (Netflix) Week 4; also streaming

$(est.) 362,000 in (est.) 145 theaters (+45); Cumulative: $(est.) 1,400,000

As Alfonso Cuarón’s award-winning film debuted on Netflix, it expanded further, though still in limited theaters–most top chains still refuse to book the film. Guessing the gross remains a challenge. Some top theaters with easy view of ticket sales are now on reduced seating and sell out early most days. Nearly all of last week’s screens held over, which suggests strength.

How many theaters will continue as competition for screens becomes much more intense in the next two weeks will determine how far this goes. $2 million or more would be impressive for any subtitled specialized release these days. Clearly there is significant interest in seeing the film on a big screen, despite near universal awareness of its Netflix availability. The streamer has mounted a successful campaign to elevate “Roma” as a legitimate awards contender.

A couple of what may be a series of 70mm dates have been announced for January. Chicago’s Music Box will play it from the 9th-13th, while a more limited play will be seen as part of a Golden Globe Foreign Language nominee program at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, CA.

At Eternity’s Gate (CBS) Week 5

$188,000 in 178 theaters (+4); Cumulative: $1,446,000

The release a few weeks ago of Julian Schnabel’s retelling of Vincent van Gogh’s time in Arles was timed to enhance attention for Willem Dafoe’s performance. Mission accomplished with two key nominations so far, although the public response so far has been modest.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight) Week 9

$140,000 in 166 theaters (-99); Cumulative: $7,265,000

Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant both have awards traction firmly established. Their positions have been greatly buttressed by Searchlight’s successful positioning of this film during the fall season.

“Anna and the Apocalypse”

Anna and the Apocalypse (Orion) Week 3

$135,988 in 138 theaters (+92); Cumulative: $413,683

Tepid wider response to this Christmas-themed Scottish vampire tale which is positioned for cult possibilities going forward.

Free Solo (Greenwich) Week 12

$132,020 in 100 theaters (-82); Cumulative: $10,794,000

National Geographic’s documentary about an amazing athletic feat has become a marathon run after nearing three months of successful release.

Shoplifters (Magnolia) Week 4

$(est.) 105,000 in 37 theaters (+1); Cumulative: $(est.) $557,000

This Japanese family story about sympathetic criminals is quietly amassing an impressive initial total. Its reviews so far have been just below those of “Roma.” With more awards attention ahead, the holidays, and further expansion, the top Cannes prize winner could be one of the rare art house foreign language titles these days to approach or even exceed $2 million.

Boy Erased (Focus) Week 7

$85,000 in 173 theaters (-449); Cumulative: $6,600,000

The next to final dates for this gay-conversion themed drama directed by Joel Edgerton bring this closer to a $7 million total.

Also noted:

Beautiful Boy (Amazon) – $32,896 in 88 theaters; Cumulative: $7,520,000

Maria By Callas (Sony Pictures Classics) – $23,584 in 62 theaters; Cumulative: $1,140,000

The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics) – $21,928 in 67 theaters; Cumulative: $8,153,000

A Private War (Aviron) – $14,000 in 50 theaters; Cumulative: $1,598,000

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Source: IndieWire film

December 16, 2018

Movie Attendance Is the Highest Since the 1970s — in the UK

According to the UK Cinema Association, 2018 will end with 176 million admissions on the other side of the pond — six million more than last year, and the highest number since 1970. The reason is unsurprising: blockbusters, more than eight of which brought in more than £40 million (roughly $50 million) at the UK box office. “There has been a really strong film slate with a diversity of films performing well,” the UK Cinema Association’s Phil Clapp told Sky News.

“Probably one of the reasons why admissions have been higher than they have been is because we’ve been pulling in audiences from a broad range of places,” said Clapp. “It’s something new in the community. We also see cinemas acting as a space for more than just films, and cinemas are catering for this with events like accessible or parent-and-baby screenings.”

"Bohemian Rhapsody"

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

20th Century Fox

Among the most successful films in the UK this year were “Black Panther,” “The Greatest Showman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and even “Peter Rabbit.” The overall box-office take is expected to be as high as £1.35 billion when all is said and done, or the equivalent of just under $1.7 billion, with an average ticket price of £7.

The numbers are considerably higher in America, with a population nearly six times higher: “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War” combined for nearly $1.4 billion domestically, followed by “Incredibles 2” ($608 million), “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” ($416 million), and “Deadpool 2” ($318 million). According to Box Office Mojo, the current total for all movies in 2018 stands at $10.16 billion.

Source: IndieWire film

December 16, 2018

Here’s the Best Way to Watch ‘Roma’ at Home (Hint: Turn Motion Smoothing Off)

As anyone who’s seen “Roma” has already told you, the best way to watch Alfonso Cuarón’s wrenching drama is in a movie theater. If that’s not possible, fret not: The acclaimed film made its Netflix premiere this weekend, allowing you to take in the crisp black-and-white cinematography and absorbing narrative from the comfort of your own home. Before you do that, consult this guide on the best practices for viewing the movie on your TV.

The first few rules are fairly simple and common — turn off motion smoothing or interpolation, set your color temperature to “normal,” and enable HDR. Motion smoothing is anathema among filmmakers and cinephiles (including Tom Cruise and Chris McQuarrie), making that one no surprise.

However, the guide’s rationale for the temperature setting is of note: “‘Warm’ color temperature can make the film appear tinted sepia or yellow. When set to ‘cool’ the film can appear overly blue.” Both outcomes are best avoided, especially given the black-and-white aesthetic.

Other settings:

Picture mode: Cinema or Movie (NOT Sports, Vivid, Dynamic etc)

Sharpness: 0% (This is the most crucial one to set to zero — although Sony sometimes uses 50% for the “off” setting, confusingly. If the image becomes blurry at 0%, try 50%)

Backlight: Whatever is comfortable, but usually at 100% for daytime use. Adjusting this will not deteriorate picture quality.

Contrast: 100%

Brightness: 50%

Color: 50%

Hue: 0%

Gamma: 2.2 (or 0 if the TV doesn’t have it in a range of 1.8-2.9 but uses whole numbers instead)

Tint (G/R): 50%

Read More: Before ‘Roma,’ Alfonso Cuarón Didn’t Think He’d Be Able to Work in Mexico Again

“Roma” has won top prizes from the New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association in addition to receiving three Golden Globe nominations. It has also been chosen as Mexico’s entry for the Academy Awards, and the nine-film shortlist will be announced tomorrow.

Source: IndieWire film

December 15, 2018

‘Vox Lux’: Stream Scott Walker and Sia’s One-of-a-Kind Soundtrack

Vox Lux” isn’t a musical, but it certainly is musical. Brady Corbet’s pop-star drama stars Natalie Portman as a singer who’s been compared to everyone from Lady Gaga to Kanye West, though the actual score comes courtesy of Scott Walker (who also worked on Corbet’s “The Childhood of a Leader”) with original songs by Sia. Like the film itself, their collaboration is a memorable mix of catchy beats and dissonant tones — and can now be streamed on Spotify. Listen below.

The film begins with a Columbine-esque school shooting set in 1999, which Celeste (played by Raffey Cassidy as a child and Portman as an adult) survives despite suffering life-threatening injuries. She writes a song about her experience, launching an unexpected career that makes her a global superstar — so much so, in fact, that terrorists eventually carry out a shooting of their own while donning masks made famous by one of her music videos.

In my Venice Film Festival review, I wrote that “’Vox Lux’ doesn’t find any grand truths in its exploration of the nexus between pop superstardom and terrorism — how the one might inspire the other, how violence on a grand scale might be another way to get one’s name in lights — but that feels less like a failing and more like a reflection of its heroine’s fractured state of mind.”

“Vox Lux” arrived in theaters on December 7 courtesy of Neon. It made $155,714 in six theaters during its opening weekend and will expand wider in the weeks to come.

Source: IndieWire film

December 14, 2018

Janicza Bravo – SXSW Film Festival Alumni Stories

At SXSW 2018, we celebrated the 25th Edition of the SXSW Film Festival and had the pleasure of sharing stories, memories, and reflections from our distinguished alumni. We had a blast telling these tales and want to keep the party going! Today we spotlight Janicza Bravo.

Bravo world premiered two narrative shorts at SXSW: Eat (2011) and Woman In Deep (2016). At SXSW 2017, the festival screened her first feature Lemon in the Festival Favorites section. Additionally in 2017, Bravo participated in a Film & TV Industry Featured Session, The Female Lens: Creating Change Beyond the Bubble with Danielle Macdonald, Gabourey Sidibe, and Jenny Slate. Recently, Bravo has directed many episodes of critically acclaimed television shows like Atlanta, Love, and Dear White People (Episodic World Premiere, 2017). She can also be seen in HBO’s series Camping and her next feature is A24’S Zola.

“I knew at my core that I would eventually arrive at the thing that I was meant to arrive at. The when was the hardest to make out.

I directed my first short 6 years ago and the only festival I submitted to was SXSW. I do not recommend that as a way to go about any moves in life. The piece was an exercise. I was trained in the theatre and I didn’t necessarily think there was a space for me in film. Well – I got in and nearly wet myself – in fact it’s totally possible that I did a little.

I can’t really imagine my life in film without that bump of validation. I carried it with me close for many years. Seeing the work that I’d spent all of these intimate hours writing and cutting play in front of an audience was a gift. This would be the first time that I’d have the taste of what it’s like to not feel like a plus 1. This would be the first time I’d heard someone else refer to me as a director. And this would also be the first time I’d take a step into that seat without looking back.”

Join Us For SXSW 2019

Register and book your hotel now to save! The Film Badge gets you primary access to all SXSW Film events including Film Keynotes and Featured Sessions, world premieres, round tables, workshops, parties, and more. Over the course of nine days, the SXSW Film Festival hosts over 450 screenings! Film registrants also have primary access to Convergence events, including the Comedy Festival and nine unique conference tracks, as well as secondary access to most Interactive and Music events.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SXSW News for the latest SXSW coverage.

See you in March!

Janicza Bravo – Photo by Nicola Gell/Getty Images for SXSW

The post Janicza Bravo – SXSW Film Festival Alumni Stories appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

December 12, 2018

2018 SXSW Film Festival Selections: Texas High School Shorts

To give you a taste of what’s to come at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival, we’re remembering the amazing work we showcased at the 2018 event that is available to watch online now!

In the spirit of celebrating and nurturing up-and-coming Texan student filmmakers, this week we’re highlighting the 2018 Texas High School Shorts Competition!

If you’re curious about SXSW Shorts Programming, check out this podcast for insight into our process. If you’re interested in what types of films we program, you can also check out short films from past editions of SXSW on our SXSW Film Festival Vimeo Channel.

Find out how to submit your Texas High School Short to the 2019 SXSW Film Festival here. The submission deadline is Thursday, December 13 at 11:59 PM PT.

2018 SXSW Texas High School Short Film Selections

The Art of War directed by Cal Etcheverry

There are only two realms in which rules are broken – art and war. A blissful artist romantically paints the tragedies of a battle-bruised soldier entrenched in the reality of war.

CCISD Strong directed by Sofia Rasmussen

These are the stories of people who stepped up in the tough times after Hurricane Harvey and brought hope to those who needed the support of their community in and around Clear Creek Independent School District.

Confined directed by DZ Zavitsanos and Socs Zavitsanos

When Myles is held at gunpoint in crime-ridden Baltimore, his life is forever changed…

Contact directed by Lindsay Wolf

Contact follows two awkward teenagers on a movie date struggling with whether or not to show their true feelings for each other through subtle physical contact.

Escape directed by Jada Harbin and Karina Harchandani

A 19 year old drunk is triggered to drink when her boyfriend fails to keep his promise. A friend cleans her up and is her shoulder to cry on, maybe even more. Is it too good to be true?

koepcke directed by C. Fears

koepcke is an experimental animation about the experience of a 17 year old girl in 1971.

How You See Us directed by Susannah Joffe

How You See Us is Joffe’s way of giving a voice to all the women who are done with being disrespected and with the hope it encourages men to rethink the over-sexualization of women in society.

Hunned Effort directed by Nicholas Luna and Alan Lawson

Music Video for, Alan Lawson‘s, Hunned Effort. Shot and edited by Nicholas Luna.

Molly and Me directed by Collin Grant and Colton Vanlandingham

Party animal Bryce and sweet Molly meet each other at a party and decide to get to know each other better. They start to find out that neither one of them are who they seem.

The Night I Lost My Favorite Jacket directed by Jenna Krumerman

A girl tells her friend about her Saturday night. She loses her favorite jacket and a little of herself while meeting new characters and trying to get by.

Pursuit: 21XX directed by Ben Phillips

A cybernetically enhanced man must track down the criminal who stole his wallet by chasing the masked thief through a futuristic city, and will have to make the ultimate decision between what is right and wrong.

Pursuit of a Dream directed by Scott Larson

A man working a dead end nine-to-five has to let go of his past in order to pursue his future.

Puzzle Pieces: Living Life on The Spectrum directed by Georgia Moore

Puzzle Pieces: Living Life on The Spectrum explores children and teens that have autism spectrum disorder.

#RefugeesWelcome directed by Ramiro Cantu

In order to survive, a young Syrian woman leaves her home, family, and country behind to seek refuge in the United States.

The Risk For Freedom directed by Alex Le

This documentary follows the early life of a Vietnamese immigrant, the director’s grandmother, and her struggle to get to America.

Roommate directed by Jinho Rhee

Everyone has roommate problems at some point.

TAKE A CHANCE directed by Weatherly Giblin

TAKE A CHANCE is a powerful and visually pleasing dance film that plays with florescent lighting, intense music, and movement to match.

What It Takes directed by Kourtney Williams

This documentary was created to help express the point of view of a male gymnast. There’s a lot that goes into the sport of gymnastics and what it takes to be successful. The story takes you through 3 different perspectives to show their passion.

Other Texas High School Shorts that were part of the SXSW 2018 program, but are not yet available to watch online include:

  • Loveless directed by Weston Bering
  • Roommate directed by Jinho Rhee
  • Return Policy directed by Demar Gunter
  • Silent Fist directed by Jose Martinez

Join Us For SXSW 2019

Register and book your hotel now to save! The Film Badge gets you primary access to all SXSW Film events including Film Keynotes and Featured Sessions, world premieres, round tables, workshops, parties, and more. Over the course of nine days, the SXSW Film Festival hosts over 450 screenings! Film registrants also have primary access to Convergence events, including the Comedy Festival and nine unique conference tracks, as well as secondary access to most Interactive and Music events.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SXSW News for the latest SXSW coverage.

See you in March!

Pursuit: 21XX – Photo by Ben Phillips

The post 2018 SXSW Film Festival Selections: Texas High School Shorts appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

December 12, 2018

Danny Madden and Yen Tan – SXSW Film Festival Alumni Stories

At SXSW 2018, we celebrated the 25th Edition of the SXSW Film Festival and had the pleasure of sharing stories, memories, and reflections from our distinguished alumni. We had a blast telling these tales and want to keep the party going! Today we spotlight Danny Madden and Yen Tan.

Danny Madden

Madden is a filmmaker and sound designer and has directed, written, produced, and edited numerous films at SXSW. In 2012, he won the Animated Shorts Jury Award for (notes on) biology and in 2018 he received the Vimeo Staff Picks Award for his short Krista. Additionally, Shirley Chen received a Special Jury Recognition for her acting. Other films directed by Madden include his debut feature euphonia (World Premiere, 2013), Confusion Through Sand (World Premiere, 2013), All Your Favorite Shows! (World Premiere, 2015), and David Gilmour – “The Girl in the Yellow Dress” (2016).

“The thing that amazes me about SXSW is that it’s become this massive event but manages to keep the spirit and feeling of ‘Hey, we’re just some people who love film and here’s what’s excited us lately’. It’s such a welcoming, encouraging place and I’ve been able to make good friends and find collaborators because the environment makes it so organic. And just being down there, you’re in constant contact with makers and film lovers. I’ve learned so much even just walking between venues with people I met in line at the last show.

One of the most life changing experiences I’ve had at SXSW is when some of the folks who run Skywalker Sound came up after a screening and invited us to show the film in their theater at ‘The Ranch.’ For a sound geek it was an overwhelming dream come true and has since led to many collaborations with those lovely people.”

Yen Tan

The SXSW Film Festival has screened four films by Tan, three of which were world premieres: Deadroom (2005), Pit Stop (2013), and the short and feature of 1985 (2016 and 2018). In addition to being a filmmaker, Tan is a poster designer and has created posters for numerous SXSW alumni world premiere selections like Manson Family Vacation (2015), which he won the Excellence in Poster Design Jury Award, Slash (2016), and Come & Take It (2018) to name a few.

“SXSW has an extra-special place in my heart as it was what brought me to the great city of Austin in 2005, where a little anthology film I made with a bunch of Dallas friends premiered. Thanks to SXSW, several of the peers I met then have gone on to bigger and better things, but I’ll forever cherish those scrappy, magical days where we bonded over our struggles and cheered each other on.

When I finally moved to Austin five years later, it naturally felt like moving closer to a place that felt like home. Because of SXSW, I get to see the same peers from all over every year, like an annual reunion I don’t have to travel to. And because of SXSW, both my career in filmmaking and in poster design have been legitimized beyond my wildest dreams. For a queer immigrant of color like me, this means the world. THANK YOU!”

Join Us For SXSW 2019

Register and book your hotel now to save! The Film Badge gets you primary access to all SXSW Film events including Film Keynotes and Featured Sessions, world premieres, round tables, workshops, parties, and more. Over the course of nine days, the SXSW Film Festival hosts over 450 screenings! Film registrants also have primary access to Convergence events, including the Comedy Festival and nine unique conference tracks, as well as secondary access to most Interactive and Music events.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SXSW News for the latest SXSW coverage.

See you in March!

Danny Madden at the SXSW Film Awards – Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW
World Premiere of 1985 – Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW

The post Danny Madden and Yen Tan – SXSW Film Festival Alumni Stories appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

December 10, 2018

Lindsey Dryden – SXSW Film Festival Alumni Stories

At SXSW 2018, we celebrated the 25th Edition of the SXSW Film Festival and had the pleasure of sharing stories, memories, and reflections from our distinguished alumni. We had a blast telling these tales and want to keep the party going! Today we spotlight Lindsey Dryden.

Dryden has been to SXSW in many different capacities over the years as a director, producer, and speaker. She was a part of the Film Mentors and Round Table programs in 2014 and 2016. In addition to producing 2017 Festival Favorite selection Unrest, she participated in two panels: UNREST VR: Finding the Form to Tell Your Story and Queer Voices On and Off Screen. Dryden recounts her SXSW experience about debuting the documentary features Lost and Sound and Unrest below.

“SXSW changed my life when Janet Pierson saw something special in the first feature documentary I directed, Lost and Sound (World Premiere, SXSW 2012). I had spent three years swimming around in the stories of music lovers who had lost their hearing and were now trying to rediscover sound – a story really personal to me – and Janet seemed to recognize the quiet power of its narrative. I got the news that we had been selected the night before my 30th birthday, standing in a cinema lobby in London with friends, and thanks to SXSW that was the beginning of an extraordinary year traveling with the film. It was also the start of an unexpected love affair with Texas, and of some of the closest relationships in my life. What is it about this festival!? To my surprise, I met people that I’ve come to love, some through the Airbnbs we rented, some in line for a film, and one literally wandering in the street, both of us looking for a place to dance.

Since 2012, I’ve shared adventures, road trips, travels, marriages, and births of babies with them, and I try to be in Austin for several months of each year. So SXSW is about people and love as well as film and career for me. I’ll never forget standing in the wings of the Paramount Theatre, moments before Lost and Sound‘s world premiere (me all shaky and sweaty, Janet radiating calm and easy-going appreciation), when she said, ‘You know, once I saw your film I just could not stop thinking about it. I couldn’t get it out of my mind.’ That vote of confidence has always stayed with me, and motivated me when my weird ideas aren’t working or I’m losing faith in the film industry.

Films I love had launched at SXSW, so it meant the world to join a group of appreciated outsiders and glorious weirdos. The audiences are so special too; they really show up and care about the work, and people are refreshingly unpretentious here. I remember walking up the street in awe when people were queuing round the block for my film, and feeling a bit beside myself when I heard them gasp and laugh and cry during the screening. Someone even tried to stuff $50 into my hand after the world premiere when she heard how hard it had been to fund the film!

We went on to bring a feature documentary I produced, Unrest, to SXSW in 2017 and in the years between I’ve mentored, hosted Q&As, spoken on panels, and thrown parties during the festival with my Queer Producers Collective crew (LGBTQ+ two-step dancing, anyone?). Oh, and I’m a film production professor part-time, so it’s been extra special to see some of my brilliant students’ work selected, like the short doc Dead Tissue Love in 2018. Unrest‘s selection for SXSW was no doubt part of its trajectory to being included in the 2017 shortlist of 15 feature documentaries considered for an Oscar nomination, and I hope to bring my future films to Austin, too. Janet, Jim [Kolmar], Austin, the team, and SX’s audiences have been inspirations and supporters that I treasure. SXSW Film really was the beginning of a magic journey for me.”

Join Us For SXSW 2019

Register and book your hotel now to save! The Film Badge gets you primary access to all SXSW Film events including Film Keynotes and Featured Sessions, world premieres, round tables, workshops, parties, and more. Over the course of nine days, the SXSW Film Festival hosts over 450 screenings! Film registrants also have primary access to Convergence events, including the Comedy Festival and nine unique conference tracks, as well as secondary access to most Interactive and Music events.

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See you in March!

Lindsey Dryden – Photo by Cal Holman

The post Lindsey Dryden – SXSW Film Festival Alumni Stories appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

December 10, 2018

Cirque du Soleil, Pop Ups, Space & More: Experiential Storytelling Track Sessions

The Experiential Storytelling Track investigates how experimental strategies are redefining the ways in which audiences experience their world. This SXSW Conference programming track investigates how a new generation of creatives are using these ideas to redefine how audiences experience their world while keeping sight of the continued relevance and flexibility of more traditional methods and principles.

“Experiential Storytelling is as much about bending and stretching the parameters of storytelling as it is about finding other ways to embrace audience engagement, whether that’s dance, architecture, museums, pop-ups, or even planetaria,” said Film Programmer Jim Kolmar. “We’re in an age of messiness and everyone has their own notion of ‘story’. With this track, we’re seeking to embrace, articulate, and illuminate that creative chaos.”

Take a closer look into Experiential Storytelling Track below as we shine a light on different sessions that showcase digital-based storytelling, museums, space, and more. Experiential Storytelling Track sessions are held March 8-10 with primary access to all SXSW Badge types.

Experiential Storytelling Session Highlights

Defining Awe: The Science Behind Cirque du Soleil

Speakers: Beau Lotto (Lab of Misfits) and Diane Quinn (Cirque du Soleil)

In 1984, Cirque du Soleil reimagined the circus experience, mystifying, mesmerizing and beguiling millions of fans. Now, more than 30 years later, the audacious visionaries at the largest theatrical company in the world are not just evoking awe, they’re measuring it. In this panel discussion, neuro-scientist and Lab of Misfits founder, Dr. Beau Lotto will share the captivating story behind one of the most ambitious studies ever undertaken in the world of theatrical entertainment. Dr. Lotto will explore the technological wizardry and inventive brain science used to understand a word that has been used to describe everything from the seven wonders of the world to the high-flying acts of the most breath-taking theatrical experiences on the planet.

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How Theatres Inform Digital Based Storytelling

Speakers: Ian Stickland (Charcoalblue LLP)

Whatever the content or communication medium, all stories require the teller to somehow share time and space with their audience. Whilst some mediums achieve this by allowing the reader to escape into their story remotely, most immersive stories exist in a physical space. With XR/VR/AR/MR etc. there are more opportunities for immersive experiences to be shared by audience members who are in physically different places. As designers of performing arts buildings we understand how to create auditoria that are optimized for storytelling and are now applying the same core principals to digital immersive experiences. This presentation will use examples from some of our completed buildings to explore how the analogue techniques translate to the digital domain.

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Mummies to Manet: Immersive Experiments in Museums

Speakers: Dia Felix (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), Andrea Montiel De Shuman (Detroit Institute of Arts), Jennifer Snyder (The Art Institute of Chicago), and Leslie Wolke (MapWell Studio)

What can we learn from recent experiments in immersive technology and contextual storytelling in art museums? We’ll take a look at the current landscape of immersive experiences at art museums all over the world—from bespoke handheld devices and mobile apps to gallery-sized experiences. Dive deep into case studies from the Detroit Institute of Arts, San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago with the creators of AR/VR/MR and audio experiences at these institutions. We’ll retrace the path from concept to launch and the decisions along the way that defined the user experience. But most importantly, we will consider these experiences from the visitor’s perspective, discovering how people get the most out of their museum visit when they are aided by innovative technology.

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PopUps: Designing for Emotional Experiences

Speakers: Jim Barczak (ShowClix), Christoper Voss (Brooklyn Museum), and Teresa Welch (Happy Place Records)

Pop-Ups are the fastest growing segment in the consumer space to test innovative concepts and products with an experience driven generation, playing an integral part in connecting people to brands through unique hands on environments. Pop-Up Museums are drawing hundreds of thousands of fans to their attractions annually by marrying music, art, VR and more. We will bring together creators of the most successful (and imitated) Pop-Up Exhibitions in the market today. We will explore: Creating an emotional journey in 12 rooms or less, elements of designing a successful experience (space, location, content),marketing tactics to draw attendees and incorporate brand partners

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Reimagining the Cinema Experience

Speakers: Shari Frilot (Sundance Institute), Max Rheiner (Somniacs AG), Nicola Ruffo (swissnex SF), and Tobias Weber (CtrlMovie Ltd)

How can non-profit organizations harness the power of VR/AR technology to promote social good? Join tech and human rights expert Brittan Heller as she discusses breakthroughs in VR/AR with innovators from Kineviz, Artie, and The Field Museum. Hear about their new technology and public interest projects addressing civil and human rights. Through these conversations, discover how your organization can use VR/AR/XR partnerships to promote justice and fair treatment for all.

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Browse Experiential Storytelling Sessions

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Black Gotham: Immersive Storytelling & Technology – Photo by Bianca Hooks

The post Cirque du Soleil, Pop Ups, Space & More: Experiential Storytelling Track Sessions appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film