Blog

  • Athena 2016: Access to Opportunity for Women in Film

    tumblr_inline_ntwd0e4bdB1r1yxm0_400Women in film are nothing if not empowered. This was clear to see on the electrified faces of the largely female audience at the 2016 Athena Film Festival held on the Barnard Campus in NYC from February 18th to 21st, 2016. It was also a strong thread that ran through the ten features, twelve documentaries, eleven shorts, four master classes, three panels, and  a lively conversation with Paul Feig and Kate McKinnon. We learned that women are making headway in terms of  graduating from film schools, getting films made, especially shorts, screening them at festivals, and winning awards.

    Yes, it appears that some progress is being made, at least in these areas. This is the good news. But, as headlines have been screaming for years, major inequalities remain. There’s still much to be done and thanks to Melissa Silverstein (Director of the ATHENA FILM FESTIVAL and founder of WOMEN AND HOLLYWOOD), there was plenty of advice on hand for all those willing to take the initiative.

  • Nothing is good enough. So we end up doing nothing.

    YouTube_logo-old

    DISCUSS THIS STATEMENT AS IT RELATES TO CREATIVE WORK IN THE DIGITAL AGE:

    Nothing is good enough. So we end up doing nothing.

    YOU WILL BE GRADED.

    A recurrence of a long-forgotten grad school nightmare? Or perhaps I’m just toying with you, tickling the paranoid part of your psyche?

    From one point of view, it’s a riotously implausible assumption, seeing that one million hours of video gets uploaded to YouTube every day. Technology has democratized filmmaking, and the Internet is similarly transforming distribution and exhibition platforms. 

  • Big Daddy’s take on the 2016 Oscar noms

    brown,r_catonhottinroof58“What’s that smell in this room? Didn’t you notice it, Brick? Didn’t you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?”

    As most of our readers probably know, that’s one of Big Daddy’s most memorable lines from Tennessee Williams’ CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF.  I’ve always thought it was the contrast between his hard-scrabble roots and the elegance of his vocabulary that help to define his character so specifically. 

  • Gunpowder & Sky

    van-toffler-and-floris-bauer-otter-media

     

     

    Gunpowder & Sky is a recently established independent studio creating and distributing content at the intersection of traditional and online media. Its goals are to reach millennials through experimentation with new forms of storytelling across multiple genres and platforms.

  • To Present & Future Sundance Rejects

    2016_sundance_film_festival_sff_logo_color_0As we approach the announcement of yet another set of serial coronations—the list of films to premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival—we’re most likely all reminded of the denouement of College Admissions Day (in my time, it was April 15th). The fortunate few who were accepted at Harvard, Yale or Stanford were cracking teen-aged versions of Veuve Cliquot, while the rest of us sweated over whether any institution of higher learning would allow us onto their far-less-hallowed campuses.

    It’s worth providing a perspective on the Sundance machine, being that Rikaroo’s mission continues to focus on discovering the neglected gems from among the swarming mass of “content.” If past years are any basis, this year’s festival has probably received no fewer than 9,000 films to consider; out of that number, perhaps 150 of those will be chosen to premiere at Park City in January, 2016. Sixteen of those will be full-length feature dramatic entries.

  • Tribeca and Lionsgate Join the Streaming Fray

    Tribeca Enterprises and Lionsgate recently joined the streaming fray with the launch of Tribeca Short List, a curated site for film lovers everywhere who are finding it increasingly difficult to find good films to watch.

    tribeca-shortlist-logo-200“We’re taking a more human approach to movie discovery for viewers who want to escape the search spiral and find a great movie fast,” said Jeff Bronikowski, President of Tribeca Short List, in a press release. “We’ve found great movies that we’re offering to subscribers as part of a high quality, highly curated movie catalog with exclusive “Shortlist” content that provides context and personal insight, like getting a recommendation from a trusted friend.” (Tubefilter)

  • FOMO & the Future of the Creative

    FOMO - fear of missing outA psychological phenomenon known as “Fear Of Missing Out” (FOMO) has currently gripped millennial culture, to the extent that it merits an entry in Wikipedia. FOMO, according to WP, is “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent … FOMO perpetuates the fear that we have made the wrong decision on how to spend our time …”

  • Web Celebs and their Superfans

    PewDiePiewideDo the names PewDiePie, Smosh, or Jenna Marbles ring a bell? How about KSI, Ryan Higa, the Fine Brothers, Markiplier, Shane Dawson, Michelle Phan, or The Young Turks? If you’re not well below the age of twenty-five or don’t spend time with people who are, chances are you’ll be surprised to learn that these are the names of some of the top web celebs starting to give Hollywood a run for its money.

  • THE ETHICS OF “POPCORN TIME” (and others like it)

    Popcorn-Time-is-awesome-logo

    Just as music listening evolved through an open “pirated” platform into more industry-friendly technologies like iTunes and Pandora, movies and TV seem to be headed in the same direction, nudged into a new order by anarchist pirate “torrents” like Popcorn Time, where you can watch HD versions of many recent films—for free. 

    We’re talking films that are just now reaching your video and Netflix shelves, as well as older “classics” (e.g. THE GODFATHER trilogy, a lot of Disney animation, etc.).  It’s the less pricey–and ethically problematic–alternative to the paid services offered by Netflix or on-demand streaming services (or for you few remaining Luddites, your local video store).

  • Chris Milk, VRSE, & VR Films With Heart

    VR headsetsFrom a distance, a small group of people standing in the far corner of a lounge at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival’s Spring Studios is a curious sight. They’re all wearing headphones and face masks, standing clustered together, looking every which way, moving their heads around on occasion, but otherwise immobilized and silent. They’re immersed in one of a set of VRSE’s virtual worlds of their choosing, essentially becoming voyeurs embedded in places like a TV production studio, a political rally, or a far away refugee camp.