Amber McGinnis on INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Obstacles and Opportunities (Guest Post)

This is how we got through the loss of our premiere. This is how we got through last week. I’m not sure exactly how we get through the next one, but I feel like I’ve learned an important lesson: the real art behind the art we create is the human connection it makes. Whether that happens in a theater or online, it’s valuing and connecting to one another that’s most important.

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Filmmaker Emily Barclay Ford on THE PUSHBACK, Purpose and Pushing Back (Guest Post)

We raced to finish The Pushback in time for our SXSW delivery deadline and then the festival was canceled the same day. Although we are sad that we did not get to premiere at the festival and in Texas, where the documentary was shot, we feel like we have to make lemonade out of lemons and find the opportunity in this moment. Due to the shutdown of other productions, there will likely be more appetite for finished content in the coming months. And with social distancing, cancellation of group events, and potentially the inability to canvas, we’re thinking that a film like ours can be a useful tool to reach people through their living rooms at a safe distance.

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Reflecting on Black History Month – Jazz Tangcay reports

Director Kasi Lemmons says, “I celebrate black history all year.” For the Harriet and Self Made director and other African American film artists, Black History Month isn’t just about February, it’s every day. In a series of guest columns, Ruth Carter, Karin Gist, Robin Thede and Lemmons are among the artists who contributed to Variety’s spotlight on Black History Month.

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Oscars 2020 Primer and Prediction – Susan Granger reports

For movie lovers, here’s the bad news and the good news. Last year, movie ticket sales in the United States & Canada were about $11.4 million, a 4% decrease from 2018. The good news is that the international box-office will exceed $30 billion for the first time ever. More films from streaming services are in the awards race, recognizing quality, no matter how it’s delivered. And I predict we’ll soon see the simultaneous release of movies at home and in theaters. This year the Oscars are on Feb. 9th; last year’s was on Feb. 24th; next year’s will be on Feb.28th. That means campaigners have fewer weeks this year to get their movies seen.

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My Gen Z Perspective on Film Criticism – Riley Roberts comments (Guest Post)

I’m 18. I’ve been a YouTube pioneer, the youngest movie critic in history, sold a company, and interviewed hundreds of A-list stars from Dwayne Johnson to Selena Gomez – all before my first period. With high school graduation behind me, I’m looking at a bright future of…what? Closed doors?

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How I Watch Films As A Film Director – Katia Shannon comments (Guest Post)

A few years ago, during an undergraduate film studies class viewing of Michael Snow’s Wavelength, I was struggling to find anything positive about the 40-minute imperceptibly slow zoom we were watching unfold. After reconsidering the value of my student loan, and whether or not people would notice if I took a quick nap, something great happened. I dove into a contemplation of the nuances between entertainment, appreciation, and enjoyment.

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STAR WARS From the Beginning – Kathia Woods comments

Speaking from her Gen X perspective, Kathia Woods recalls her first encounter — at age seven — with the Star Wars franchise and what the film meant to her and to her friends, all of whom were completely mesmerized by the story, the characters and the other world in which the saga unfolded. She invites discussion about Star Wars inspiration and its impact, and feelings about the franchise coming to an end.

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Horror Movies and Kids: A Scary Combination — Betsy Bozdech, Brandy McDonnell, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow and Liz Whittemore comment

Research shows that, on average, kids see horror movies as young as 7 years old. And we’ve all noticed members of the PG crowd at decidedly R-rated movies — in fact, when my daughter was in the second grade, she had multiple classmates who’d seen “It.” And that’s a problem. While research indicates that media violence doesn’t directly make kids who are exposed to it more aggressive, some studies do suggest that, combined with other risk factors — including things like substance abuse and conflict at home — media violence can contribute to violent behavior.

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