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February 14, 2019

$100,000 Up For Grabs in the World’s Largest Digital Talent Search, Powered By Playbook Hub

Playbook Hub

With the advent of social media, there are careers that exist today that were unknown-unknowns less than a decade ago. The US Bureau of Economic Analysis suggests creative skills account for 4.2% of the country’s GDP – a staggering $704 billion.

Playbook Hub is tapping into this creative economy by enabling 10,000 artists from more than 100 countries to manage their businesses better.

The digital platform is calling on creators from every genre — musicians, artists, photographers, and performers to name a few — from all corners of the globe, to submit a 60 second showcase of their skill to www.project-playbook.com, get booked via their profile between 8 February 2019 and 17 March 2019, and gain votes from friends, fans and the public for their chance to win $100,000:

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for creatives to convert their side hustle into their profession,” says Rudi Pienaar, Playbook Hub founder.

Each aspect of the platform has been developed to allow the simplest, most efficient and transparent interaction between the artist or their agent and the client from booking request to final payment.

For more info visit www.project-playbook.com.

Photo and content provided by Playbook Hub

The post $100,000 Up For Grabs in the World’s Largest Digital Talent Search, Powered By Playbook Hub appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

February 13, 2019

Where Are They Now? Jay and Andrea McKnight

“Do you think we’re stronger now in our relationship?”

“Positively, absolutely.”

This past month, we released a new series of animations around the themes of love between partners, and the surprising places where we find the person who completes us, titled The Love Season. Through these stories we met with a couple who spoke no shared language when they first met; we watched the unlikely lifelong romance between two sets of twins; and we even heard from two military veterans, ages 100 and 72, who were married in the veterans’ home where they now live. In our last release of the series, “You Move Me,” Jay and Andrea McKnight told us the story of how they found each other.

Sometimes we are lucky enough to hear back from those we have interviewed, even years after they first recorded with us. We first shared this story back in August of 2011. Since then, Jay and Andrea McKnight have sat down with the StoryCorps App and recorded another conversation.

Listen to the McKnights’ advice for a successful and healthy marriage, and their thoughts on everything that has changed – and what has stayed the same – in their years together. (And don’t worry, they still both love cowboys.)


Source: SNPR Story Corps

February 12, 2019

One Small Step Bridges Political Divides at Trinity College

“We’re not disagreeing anymore on how to solve the problem. We’re disagreeing that the problem even exists.”

Last October, we partnered with Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and invited students and alumni to have a conversation with someone with whom they disagree through our One Small Step initiative.

One Small Step brings together people with different political views of all backgrounds and beliefs to record a StoryCorps interview with each other. This new use of the classic StoryCorps interview seeks to remind us that we have more in common than divides us and that treating those with whom we disagree with decency and respect is essential to a functioning democracy.

Bettina King-Smith, a sophomore at Trinity College, and Nick Engstrom, a freshman, talked about their political views, and gained insights into each others’ beliefs that allowed them to find common ground. You can listen to the audio from their interview with the WNPR program “Where We Live” here:

OSS Trinity participants

Interested in learning more? You can find more information about the One Small Step initiative here and sign up to have a meaningful conversation from across the political spectrum.

Source: SNPR Story Corps

February 11, 2019

6 audio storytelling trends to watch for

Source: Visual Storytelling

February 10, 2019

‘Everybody Knows’ and Oscar Shorts Pump New Blood into Specialty Box Office

As the Oscar approach, contenders are still dominating the specialized business. The new entry is Magnolia’s annual package of Oscar-nominated shorts. The response this year to Magnolia’s release is the best yet.

Finally opening is last May’s starry Cannes opener “Everybody Knows” (Focus), the latest film from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who went to Spain for his latest domestic drama starring power duo Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. It showed interest in its first two cities as arthouses eagerly anticipate new product as awards titles come to the end of their runs.

“A Night at the Garden”



2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films (Magnolia)

$912,000 in 270 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $3,442

Despite an increase of 72 theaters above its previous high last year, Magnolia’s annual compilation of Oscar short film contenders–animation, live action and documentary show in different packages for separate admissions–maintained the same strong per theater average. The gross was over $200,000 better than last year.

Every year this unlikely specialized release pulls more audiences than many of the top limited entries. Notably, major chains like AMC and Regal elevate this Oscar package even though it will see video on demand availability earlier than normal. (They won’t do the same for Netflix’s “Roma.”)

What comes next:  These programs usually sustain three strong weekends; these initial grosses suggest room for growth in theaters alongside video on demand right before the awards.

Everybody Knows

“Everybody Knows”

© Teresa Isasi

Everybody Knows (Focus) – Metacritic: 65; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto 2018

$75,000 in 4 theaters; PTA: $18,750; Cumulative: $75,000

Asghar Farahi has won two Foreign Language Oscars for his Iranian films “A Separation” and  “A Salesman.” Earning slightly less positive reviews, this rare subtitled release from Focus Features offers a family mystery carried by Cruz and Bardem. They delivered top theaters in New York and Los Angeles, with respectable results continuing a string of better than usual subtitled releases.

What comes next: This will expand to top cities and Spanish-language targeted theaters ahead.

Lords of Chaos (Gunpowder & Sky)  – Metacritic: 51; Festivals include: Sundance 2018

$28,086 in 4 theaters; PTA : $7,022

A year after its Sundance debut as a midnight movie, this European English-language film shot in Norway about a punk band debuted in four theaters. Backed by Alamo Drafthouse marketing in four cities, this delivered a decent initial response to a younger audience, which is tough to lure for specialized titles.

What comes next:  Home video on demand starts on 2/22

To Dust (Good Deed) – Metacritic: 67; Festivals include: Tribeca 2018

$8,400 in 1 theater; PTA: $8,400

Matthew Broderick as a Hasidic cantor testing the bounds of religious law after his wife’s death opened well at a single New York screen. This is the kind of niche film that could find further interest in communities around the country now that it has shown initial interest.

What comes next: Los Angeles comes on next this Friday.




Week Two

Arctic (Bleecker Street)

$82,619 in 15 theaters (+11); PTA: $5,508; Cumulative: $149,526

The initial expansion for Mads Mikkelsen trying to survive a plane crash in the far north showed modest results at top theaters.

Ongoing/expanding (Grosses over $50,000)

Green Book (Universal) Week 13

$3,570,000 in 2,199 theaters (-499); Cumulative: $61,500,000

All systems are still go for Peter Farrelly’s Best Picture Oscar contender. Its gross total is about equal to that of the other seven Best Picture nominees (to be fair, several already have home viewing options). It only fell 18 percent this weekend, with the per theater average close to last weekend’s.

"They Shall Not Grow Old"

“They Shall Not Grow Old”

Trafalgar Releasing

They Shall Not Grow Old (Warner Bros.) Week 5

$1,670,000 in 827 theaters (+92); Cumulative: $13,563,000

What was initially a Fathom single-day special event release now is playing its second weekend of a wider break. Peter Jackson’s restoration of World War I footage is finding a better per theater response than most of the awards contenders at the moment, while playing at more theaters currently than all but a few.

The Favourite (Fox Searchlight) Week 12

$800,000 in 605 theaters (-949); Cumulative: $30,200,000

Yorgos Lanthimos’ Oscar-contending offbeat regal comedy has added to its totals. This is a film that released outside of awards season might have seen a decent $20 million total. Now it appears to be headed to around $35 million.

On the Basis of Sex (Focus) Week 7

$507,000 in 416 theaters (-501); Cumulative: $23,824,000

Though on the late end of its run, this Justice Ginsberg biopic still is adding to its very impressive total.

Cold War (Amazon) Week 8

$500,879 in 270 theaters (+53); Cumulative: $2,883,000

The awards momentum for Pawel Pawlikowski’s post-war Polish romance continues with its surprise ASC award for its black and white cinematography. The grosses show the advantage Amazon has in access to more theaters than the streaming “Roma” (without home competition). By any standard these are outstanding numbers for a subtitled film, with a real shot at passing $4 million and significantly more.

Stan and Ollie (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7

$450,827 in 352 theaters (-402); Cumulative: $4,324,000

This Laurel and Hardy pursuing a comeback drama continues to find interest. It hasn’t been a breakout success, but despite low-level awards response has found a respectable audience reaction.

Free Solo (Greenwich) Week 20

$307,200 in 153 theaters (-330); Cumulative: $15,916,000

The theater/gross fall from last weekend comes from not having the IMAX screens they played for a week. The total continues impressive for this potential Best Feature Documentary winner nearing the end of its fifth month in play.

Stephan James as Fonny and KiKi Layne as Tish star in Barry Jenkins' IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, an Annapurna Pictures release.

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

Tatum Mangus / Annapurna Picture

If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna) Week 9

$274,477 in 266 theaters (-188); Cumulative: $13,770,000

Barry Jenkins’ acclaimed adaptation of James Baldwin’s classic novel has grossed about half of his “Moonlight.” Regina King’s possible supporting Oscar ahead could boost it more.

Roma (Netflix) Week 12

$(est). 175,000 in 125 theaters (+20); Cumulative: $(est.) 3,500,000

Our possibly conservative estimate for Netflix’s non-reported totals includes a strong return to The Landmark in Los Angeles (boosted by an Alfonso Cuaron Q & A on Saturday) and an uptick in theater numbers. The latter suggests grosses strong enough to keep exhibitor interest alive.

Capernaum (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 9

$140,773 in 63 theaters (+16); Cumulative: $734,063

This Foreign-Language Oscar nominee continues to perform at a reasonable level for subtitled films, but below the performance of three of its competitors.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight) Week 17; also streaming

$(est.) 101,000 in 90 theaters (-126); Cumulative: $(est.) 8,545,000

Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant’s Oscar nominations have kept long term interest going.

The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 26; also streaming

$100,015 in 99 theaters (-103); Cumulative: $9,101,000

It’s the half-year mark in theaters for Glenn Close’s Best Actress frontrunner. That’s nearly as impressive as its awards presence.

Shoplifters (Magnolia) Week 12

$(est.) 95,000 in 69 theaters (-75); Cumulative: $(est.) 2,965,000

The almost three-month run for this very successful Japanese film is just about $3 million in the lead up to the Oscars.

Destroyer (Annapurna) Week 7

$77,645 in 114 theaters (-91); Cumulative: $1,451,000

Karyn Kusama’s police thriller with a bravura Nicole Kidman never got the traction it deserved and looks to be near the end of its theatrical presence.

Also noted:

Never Look Away (Sony Pictures Classics)  – $40,465 in 3 theaters; Cumulative: $109,438

The Invisibles (Greenwich)  – $36,000 in 18 theaters; Cumulative: $120,428

Heading Home: A Tale of Team Israel (Menemsha) – $28,358 in 7 theaters; Cumulative: $45,308

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Source: IndieWire film

February 10, 2019

BAFTA Awards Red Carpet: Rami Malek, Yalitza Aparicio, and More

The nominees are all in London for the last major award show before the Oscars.

Source: IndieWire film

February 10, 2019

‘Goldie’ Review: Model Slick Woods Delivers a Breakout Debut in a Scrappy New York Story — Berlinale

“Yo it’s your girl Goldie I’m about to kill shit today.” Goldie (played by fashion model Slick Woods in her first movie role) is a lot like the film that bears her name: full of attitude, bursting with scrappy New York style, and stuck under the thumb of a merciless system that won’t let her shine like she knows she can. At least this movie believes in her, because no one else will. No one else except maybe pint-sized fans Sherrie and Supreme, both of whom worship their 18-year-old half-sister like Goldie is already the world famous hip-hop dance star she fantasizes about becoming. But when their mom gets arrested and Goldie tries to keep her little siblings away from the long arm of child welfare services, it isn’t long before the urgency of her real life begins to chip away at the possibility of her dreams.

Written and directed by Dutch filmmaker Sam de Jong (“Prince”), who shoots the upper tip of Manhattan with a vaguely foreign sense of dislocation, “Goldie” explodes with energy and hope. Some of that urban verve is manufactured in post-production; as Goldie and her sisters run around the city, de Jong outlines their bodies with bright, wiggly blasts of drawn-in color. A body-moving beat pumps away on the soundtrack (the ambient music here is courtesy of “The Rider” composer Nathan Halpern). Every time a new character is introduced, the movie captures them in a freeze frame while either Sherrie or Supreme shouts out their name in a singsongy voice like they’re making a new friend at school. De Jong isn’t out to make his own “Run Lola Run” (as preferable as that might have been), but he flakes “Goldie” with a pop style that speaks to its heroine’s natural buoyancy even when she’s adrift in some very choppy water.


Ultimately, however, most of the film’s vitality and ride-or-die sparkle comes from Goldie herself. It’s hard to know what came first — the name, or the close-shaved yellow hairdo and eyebrow combo that pops like champagne against her brown skin — but it doesn’t matter: Either way, Goldie is a star. She’s a local icon. She’s a brand in the making. And she feels like selling her persona is the only thing that might be able to afford her a better life, and make it so that her mom and sisters don’t have to share a single room with a low-rent drug dealer named Frank (Danny Hoch).

The fact that Woods has already made it (and with an incarcerated mother of her own) only adds to the perfection of her casting; even without the meta elements, which underline the extent to which America’s disenfranchised look to pop culture as a pipeline to salvation, her performance is beautifully expressive and open to the world. She wears all of Goldie’s desires and frustrations, and radiates the same conviction when she’s talking about her dance skills as she does when she’s begging a pharmacist for access to an inhaler so that her asthmatic sister can breathe again. The movie rises with her hopes, sags when they deflate, and holds its head up with the same take-no-shit approach that she throws to anyone who gets in her way (“You’re fucking lucky I’m still on probation!” she yells at a girl who tries to start with her).


The plot is both exceedingly simple and dependent on a major contrivance. There’s never a good time for someone’s mom to get arrested, but it feels like a stretch that it happens to Goldie on the same day that she’s scrambling to get ready for her breakthrough music video. The gig isn’t guaranteed quite yet, but some guy keeps telling Goldie that he can get her a featured dance spot in an upcoming shoot for a rapper named Tiny (A$AP Ferg). Goldie, who swears by the power of her image, is convinced that she can’t show up to set without this bright yellow mink jacket that she’s been eying for most of her adult life. And it isn’t long after she takes her sisters on the lam that Goldie— desperate to keep her remaining family together — starts wondering how best to spend what little money she’s got (or is going to get from selling her mom’s leftover painkillers). Is that coat more valuable than a safe night’s sleep somewhere? Than a hot meal for her sisters?

“Goldie” The film, like its heroine, is too stubbornly upbeat to get trapped in the doldrums or dip into poverty porn, and the residual fun of the playful first act (which is highlighted by a great bit where Goldie plays a game of whack-a-mole with a group of a rent-a-cops at a department store) sustains a measure of positive energy deep into the second. But despair is never far, and the sun is still high when Goldie snaps at her sisters that “Nobody loves us, because that’s how it is.” She drags Sherrie and Supreme to an old teacher’s house, and later to an errant member of their family, looking for any solution that isn’t overseen by the government. But nothing sticks, and the clock is ticking.

The more urgent things get for Goldie, the more conventional the film becomes; as her situation grows messier, the plot narrows her toward the inevitable. As much as de Jong makes the case that this story only has one feasible outcome — that what’s best for Goldie might not be what she’s wanted for herself all this time — the transparency of the story’s three-act structure and the way it whittles down to a kind of surrender makes it hard to appreciate if Goldie has actually gotten anything out of this, if she’s learned to better navigate a system that’s built to push her down at every turn, or if she’s going to be any different tomorrow than she was yesterday. There’s a bittersweet and lingering aftertaste to her story, something between resolve and resignation, but flavor only gets you so far in this world.

Grade: B-

“Goldie” premiered at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival. It is currently seeking U.S. release.

Source: IndieWire film

February 10, 2019

‘Driveways’ Review: Andrew Ahn’s Nuanced, Familiar Heartwarmer — Berlinale

They say less is always more, but in the case of movies, there is always the danger of leaving so much unsaid that you’re left with nothing much at all. While restraint is generally a wise approach to storytelling, it runs the risk of leaving a narrative so spare the audience cannot connect. In “Driveways,” director Andrew Ahn trusts his actors to fill in the considerable gaps in Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen’s minimalist script. But actors, even ones as brilliant as these, are not magicians; they cannot create meaning from nowhere. Ahn guides his gentle second feature with a measured hand, but he and his adorable kid protagonist can’t jolt the sleepy narrative out of its familiar comfort zone.

After her sister’s death, Kathy (Hong Chau) and her 8-year-old son Cody (Lucas Jaye) sojourn to a small town to begin the arduous task of packing up and selling the house. Unbeknownst to Kathy, her sister was a hoarder, and the place is packed to the brim not only with cat trinkets but at least one dead feline. Overwhelmed by the situation — and the realization that she didn’t know her sister very well — she leaves Cody to his own devices. He soon notices Del (Brian Dennehy), an older veteran who lives next door, who is sitting on his porch waiting for a ride that never comes. When Kathy drives Del to the local VA for his weekly bingo game, their friendship is all but certain to blossom.

Soon enough, Del is piping his electricity over to Kathy and Cody and rescuing Cody from the pre-adolescent terrorism of two neighborhood boys. Del is lonely, as we learn from multiple shots of him eating dinner alone, and Cody sometimes gets nervous and vomits, as Kathy explains: “He gets overwhelmed. Karate lessons, birthday parties, camp.”

The two are a perfect pair to fill in what the other is missing, but “Driveways” never quite delivers the satisfying bonding moment, save for a driving lesson via lawnmower and a side-by-side reading scene. Sure, Del shares a hitchhiking story or two, and Cody asks Del about his late wife in the innocently prodding way only a child could, but these exchanges lack any of the necessary humor or heart to make for a compelling friendship.

Brian Dennehy and Lucas Jaye


While Cody provides wise-beyond-his-years cuteness (at one point telling Del, “Even though I have strong beliefs, I really don’t like religion”), Kathy is the rarer and therefore more interesting character. She smokes cigarettes, which Cody puts out; she sneaks out to the bar, but doesn’t take the eager stranger home; she sometimes snaps at her son, but she’s physically affectionate and ultimately concerned for his wellbeing. She is that rare representation of a single mom who is flawed but not terrible — she’s doing her best but isn’t entirely self-sacrificing. It’s still unusual to find women characters with this many facets, and Chau is the perfect actor to accentuate them.

Ahn wrote the script for first film, “Spa Night,” which won a special Jury Award at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The film followed a young Korean-American man coming to terms with his sexuality and his conservative family while working at a Korean spa. Like “Driveways,” “Spa Night” is deliberate and restrained, but with the added layer of a kind of simmering isolation closing in around you, like staying in a sauna for too long. Ahn, who is gay, doubtless had a more personal stake in that film than he does in “Driveways.”

While Cody is sensitive, the film is less about queerness than it is about loneliness, although the two often go hand in hand (in art and in life). Without a singular galvanizing conflict to focus the plot, “Driveways” feels more like a collection of character studies than a cohesive whole. There’s Linda (Christine Ebersole), the nosy neighbor who drop racist micro-aggressions with a syrupy Michigan twang; and Del’s friend Roger (Jerry Adler), whose mental deterioration provides some of the film’s most moving scenes.

With these secondary characters, Bos and Thureen show their promise as screenwriters, and offer a glimpse at what makes them successful playwrights. Every character in “Driveways” is on their own journey — they are not simply there to move the plot along or provide color.

There are moments of divine inspiration in “Driveways,” like when Cody deadpans, “I farted. Bad,” or brags of his visit to bingo night: “Everyone was drinking beer around me!” But watching him as he runs angrily down his adopted street, past the eponymous driveways, makes for a half-hearted climax. By playing every note sotto voce, “Driveways” denies its lovingly crafted characters the expressive crescendo they deserve.

Grade: B-

“Driveways” premiered in the Generations section of the Berlinale on February 10, 2019. It is currently seeking distribution. 

Source: IndieWire film

February 10, 2019

Paul Schrader Calls Bradley Cooper the Best Director of 2018 (Exclusive)

Sean Penn isn’t the only one impressed by Bradley Cooper. In a message shared with IndieWire, Paul Schrader declared the first-time filmmaker the best director of 2018 for his work on “A Star Is Born,” which is all the more notable given that Schrader himself wrote and directed one of the year’s best films with “First Reformed.” At the heart of his praise is the way Cooper transformed co-star Lady Gaga’s “stage and musical personality” into that of a screen actress.

Read his full message:

“Here’s why I believe Bradley Cooper is the best director of 2018. In 1987 I directed ‘Light of Day’ with Joan Jett. Joan and I put long and serious effort into transforming her from a live music performer into a film actress. We had some success but overall I felt we failed. Part of it was due to screen chemistry, part to script problems but as always responsibility falls to the director. I didn’t accomplish what needed to be done.

“I see the opposite journey in Cooper’s direction of Stefani Germanotta. He took Gaga’s stage and musical personality and broke them down to their composite parts. Then rebuilt them into a screen actress. He was gifted in this process by time, patience, insight but also by the benefit of being an actor himself. Being a director isn’t just about framing shots, moving the camera and selecting lenses. Sometimes it’s about looking into the eyes of a performer and seeing who they can be. Who they want to be.”

Cooper received three Oscar nominations for his work on the film, but Best Director was not one of them — he’s up for Best Picture, Actor, and Adapted Screenplay instead. Schrader himself is a long-overdue Academy Award nominee this year, picking up a nod for Best Original Screenplay.

Source: IndieWire film

February 8, 2019

Visible Joins SXSW

Visible Joins SXSW

Coming soon to a SXSW near you: Visible – the no contract, unlimited everything (for only $40) digital mobile carrier. It’s a new take on phone service – one that removes complexity, giving consumers a simple, new, and hassle-free way to connect with each other. Visible has one plan, at one price, and all on Verizon’s 4G LTE Network.

But by removing the overwhelming choices and other phone service things nobody is really a fan of, Visible can help people remember why they have their phones in the first place: to connect with the people and things they care about most.

And that’s why Visible will be at SXSW: to help you learn more about – well – Visible, to listen to music, to help people (and their phones) recharge at the festival, and to remind everyone that behind Visible there is a handful of people who just want to build a more human connection.

Photo and content provided by Visible

The post Visible Joins SXSW appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film