Diversity Storm Heats Up in Hollywood

Diversity Storm Heats Up in Hollywood

Celebrities are speaking out, demanding better representation for women and people of color. Female filmmakers are lobbying. Plenty of other female critics, besides me, are flagging the problem, which includes a scarcity of substantial and complex female characters in narrative films, whether Hollywood or indie, that fail to pass the Bechdel test (at least one scene with two female characters who have names, talking to each other about anything other than a man).

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All about IDFA, For Those Who Don’t Already Know

All about IDFA, For Those Who Don’t Already Know

IDFA, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, is the world’s largest and most influential documentaries-only festival. Founded in 1983, by festival director Ally Derks, it is unique for its international film program featuring a wide variety of documentary genres with political and socially conscious themes. The festival presents many European and world premieres each year, and is a major annual gathering place for filmmakers, producers, distributors and students to meet and network.

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Olivia Cooke Talks ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, Roles for Women and Amy Winehouse (Exclusive, Uncut Audio Interview)

Olivia Cooke Talks ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, Roles for Women and Amy Winehouse (Exclusive, Uncut Audio Interview)

Olivia Cooke brings a vitality to the role of Rachel that is sure to touch youngsters who are coming of age — whether they’re in the grips of normal hormonal changes or life-threatening diseases. In this interview she speaks about women’s roles in cinema and the importance of not playing the victim or becoming reedits of roles written for men. Listen to the exclusive, uncut audio.

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Andrew Morgan on THE TRUE COST, Fast Fashion and Making Films That Matter (Exclusive, Unedited Audio Interview)

Andrew Morgan on THE TRUE COST, Fast Fashion and Making Films That Matter (Exclusive, Unedited Audio Interview)

In this exclusive and unedited audio interview, Andrew Morgan discusses his eye-opening documentary, The True Cost, about how ‘fast fashion’ – you know, those stylish little frocks that H&M and other branded purveyors sell by the millions for $9.99 each — impacts our global economy, shatters local cultures, causes political unrest and poses a serious threat to the environment. Surprise: H&M is just about on a par with Monsanto in its sacrifice of human well-being for the sake of profit. Read on and listen to the interview.

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Carey Mulligan on Playing Strong Female Characters, Working with Women Directors and FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD — Exclusive Interview

Carey Mulligan discusses playing Bathsheba Everdene, the independent heroine in the new cinematic version of Thomas Hardy’s FAR FROM A MADDING CROWD, portraying classic female characters created by Hardy and Jane Austen, her female director wish list and what is today’s madding crowd. Watch the exclusive interview for more….

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NORDISK PANORAMA Names New Director

NORDISK PANORAMA Names New Director

Søren Steen Poulsen has been appointed managing director of Nordisk Panorama, the premiere festival and marketplace for documentaries and shorts produced and/or co-produced in the Scandinavian countries of Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Poulsen joins the Nordisk Panorama team on May 1, replacing Katrine Kiilgaard, who leaves the organization at the end of March, after having run it successfully for 15 years.

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8th Annual Salem Film Fest Announces Outstanding Doc-Only Program

8th Annual Salem Film Fest Announces Outstanding Doc-Only Program

The 8th annual all-documentary Salem Film Fest (March 5-12, 2015) will have its largest line-up ever – 38 films by filmmakers representing 10 different countries telling stories from around the world. Twenty-nine of these films will be making their North American, US, East Coast, New England or Massachusetts premiere. Spread out over eight days with screenings at both CinemaSalem and the Peabody Essex Museum, the festival kicks off with the thoughtprovoking STRAY DOG, about Vietnam veteran and biker Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, which is directed by Oscar nominated director Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone)

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New Stats on Women in Film Show Cinema is Still A Man’s World

It should come as no surprise to anyone whose been paying attention — even marginally — to 2014′s crop of films and the film industry’s record of production that there is no such thing as gender equality of opportunity in Hollywood, or in any other segment of the moviemaking business.

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Now’s the Time To Establish Your Documentary Viewing Club

There is a constant complaint among documentary fans: “We can’t find the film we want to watch at our local theater. And,no matter how often we request the manager to program documentaries, we can’t get the films we want to see on the schedule.” That, unfortunately, is the reality of current film distribution. The situation may change in the future, but at present very few documentaries get wide theatrical releases — even though nonfiction film has constantly growing fan base. It’s frustrating for filmmakers, too. There is a remedy. Read on…

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Movie Review: THE INVISIBLE WAR

Movie Review: THE INVISIBLE WAR

Filmmaker Kirby Dick’s The Invisible War presents staggering evidence of the frequent incidence of the rape of soldiers — men and women, but mostly women — in the U.S. military, and exposes the systematic cover-up of reported rape and sexual harassment incidents and the ongoing victim persecution by U. S. military authorities. While authorities claim to have and administer a zero tolerance policy and the military acknowledges awareness of the complaints that have been filed, there is continued incidence of rape and sexual abuse throughout the military establishment. Read on…

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Filmmaker Kirby Dick Outs Sexual Bias and Abuse

Filmmaker Kirby Dick Outs Sexual Bias and Abuse

In his documentaries, filmmaker Kirby Dick takes on tough issues related to sexual bias, violence and abuse. He challenges institutions, authorities and media those who would hide the outrageous statistics related to rape on college campuses nationwide and across the breadth of the US military establishment, and outs hidden bias towards homosexuality and bad behavior directed towards homosexuals. His incessant righteousness in filmmaking makes us want to know more about him. Hence, this profile. Read on…

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Ally Derks Talks About IDFA and Documentary Film Trends

Ally Derks Talks About IDFA and Documentary Film Trends

Ally Derks has been the director of IDFA, aka the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, for a quarter of a century, and has grown the annual event into the documentary film industry’s preeminent showcase, not only offering filmmakers opportunity to pitch projects and make distribution deals for their finished films, but providing an extraordinary program of socially relevant films for documentary watchers from around the globe. In the documentaries realm, what Derks thinks matters. Read on…

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IDFA, aka Iternational Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam – An Overview

IDFA, aka Iternational Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam – An Overview

IDFA is the documentary realm’s pre-eminent cutting edge film festival, acclaimed for presenting trend-setting ‘creative documentaries,’ with ‘creative’ roughly defined as expressing the filmmaker’s point of view in a creative and cinematic manner– one which may challenge or push the envelope on established forms in nonfiction filmmaking.

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Kathryn Bigelow’s PSA for Saving Elephants

Kathryn Bigelow’s PSA for Saving Elephants

Filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow has directed her enormous talents to address a huge issue. Bigelow has made an effective and affecting three-minute PSA to support the cause of saving elephants in Sub-Sahan Africa, where poachers are slaughtering entire herds of the wonderful creatures for their ivory tusks — although international trade in ivory is universally illegal. Entitled Last Days, the PSA premieres at New York Film Festival on September 27 at Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at NYC’s Lincoln Center.

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Attention Cinema Citizens: Call for Contributions!

Attention Cinema Citizens: Call for Contributions!

Do you feel strongly about issues that are raised in narrative or documentary movies, and the way in which issues are represented? Express your opinions on the Cinema Citizen blog! Cinema Citizen’s OTHER VOICES category is intended to carry your opinions, along with those of filmmakers, cinema advocates, activists and audience members. The section contains interviews, articles by guest authors and your contributions — all adding up to a healthy consideration of the connection between cinema and current social and political concerns. Join the discussion!

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Movie Review: UNDER THE ELECTRIC SKY, A 3D Documentary Event

Movie Review: UNDER THE ELECTRIC SKY,  A 3D Documentary Event

For music documentary fans, especially those who are devoted to electronic dance music, Under The Electric Sky is the equivalent of a contemporary Woodstock — with the added attraction of providing a fully immersive and utterly spectacular 3D experience. And then, too, there’s the opportunity for die hard devotees to host their own theatrical screenings through an innovative ‘crowdsourcing’ distribution model. The film is well worth a look. So, too, is the distribution model.

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The European Documentary Network, an Overview

The European Documentary Network, an Overview

Founded in 1996, the European Documentary Network (EDN) is dedicated to enhancing opportunity for documentary filmmakers by stimulating cooperation and networking, and spreading knowledge within the documentary sector about financing and distribution. The independent nonprofit organization currently has more than 1000 members representing documentary communities in more than 60 countries. EDN is an invaluable resource. Read more…

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WE LOVE IMPUNITY – Nick Fraser on THE ACT OF KILLING

WE LOVE IMPUNITY – Nick Fraser on THE ACT OF KILLING

By my own, not quite reliable reckoning, I’ve been asked to show The Act of Killing on the BBC at least five times. I have some difficulty in responding to its many admirers – not because my responses are hard to explain but because they appear so out of tune with the prevailing chorus of praise. And I have watched the film repeatedly. After a film-maker whose views I respect told me I should see the film on a big screen, I did so. But I found that I was put off not just by being told by the film-makers that I would find the experience upsetting, but by the ritual odour of self-approbation I could sense among members of the audience.

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DOCUMENTARY FILM CHALLENGE: The Case of the Stolen Home and ‘Estate Rape!’

DOCUMENTARY FILM CHALLENGE: The Case of the Stolen Home and ‘Estate Rape!’

Every documentary filmmaker has a unique method for investigating incidents, for finding a path to the truth, for crafting a story from a cache of facts. Each documentary filmmaker has an individual vision and passion for the art. It would be interesting to see their talents and techniques focused on one story, one particular cache of facts, and see their different individual approaches to shaping the story into a documentary film. The story I have in mind involves a case of ‘estate rape,’ of a stolen home and family identity. It is the subject of an Eyewitness News Report. Watch the report, read my further details, take the challenge!

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Documentary Film Festival Calendar 2014

Hey Documentary Filmmakers: Work with this list of documentary film festivals scheduled throughout the year. Pick and choose which best suit your film and which will provide you with the best, most and right sort of exposure.

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The Documentary Studio System

Documentaries are categorized as independent films, made outside the Hollywood or international studio system. Although increased interest in nonfiction film has brought studios into the documentary arena, relatively few documentaries wear the Warner Brothers, Universal, Columbia, Fox, Disney or Weinstein labels. Those documentaries that are studio-produced, financed and/or distributed clearly shouldn’t be categorized as indie films. But can all of the nonfiction films made outside the studio system really be considered as independent? In many cases, the answer is no.

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About Cinema Citizen

Welcome to Cinema Citizen! Our aim is to provoke though […]

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Report From Nordisk Panorama, 2013

Report From Nordisk Panorama, 2013

Nordisk Psnorma 2013 presented a program of 91 films, including documentary features and shorts and narrative shorts, with 16 films in competition for best Nordic documentaty, 15 films in competition for best Nordic short and 15 films in competition for best New Nordic Voice.The 24th edition of the annual festival took place from September 20 to 24 in various venues throughout the city of Malmo, Sweden.

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