Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mark Claywell, Director of AMERICAN JIHADIST (IFP's Spotlight on Docs Alum), Blogs about His Slamdance Premiere

(Karin Hayes, Slamdance, stands by as Mark Claywell, director, and Jody Jenkins, co-producer, answer questions) (The filmmakers and Slamdance team).

We had a great first screening last night. Could not have gone better I believe. We were competing against the annual clothing optional Slamdance Hot Tub party and still had a full house.

I was a little nervous and jittery that no one would show up for our screening so I made it clothing optional as well. It was dark so i don't know if anyone took me up on that.,

Q and A was great fun. I was concerned about that as well considering we are pushing a lot of buttons in this film. Lots of on target questions. Very smart audience. No yelling or screaming! Looking forward to our second screening on Wednesday. Clothing optional.

A day later, here are some more reflections and details:
The Q and A mostly revolved around some of the major questions we bring up during the film... how does Isa Ali travel so easily from Bosnia to the States... (he has never been charged with a crime), We talked about the possibilities of Ali working for the US Government... (we have asked that questions of course and Ali has admitted that the CIA and FBI have tried to recruit him even while publicly calling him a terrorist.) Good to know the audience is picking up on the some of the major themes and elements of the films which deal with easy labels and stereotypes. What were once freedom fighters are now evil doers.

We also got a few inquiries about turning the film into a dramatic feature. (We optioned the rights to Ali's story so hoping to move that rock forward very soon.)

Beyond that we have had several meetings with potential distributors and online VOD/Streaming people. Not in a rush but excited about the possibilities and wading through the mine field of what the next paradigm will be....

Back at it tomorrow. Second screening at 12:30pm.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jason Spingarn-Koff Blogs about Life 2.0's Sundance Premiere

David Courier (Documentary Programmer, Sundance Film Festival talks to director Spingarn-Coff after the premiere of Life 2.0), director Jason Springarn-Koff and producer Stephan Paternot at the premiere.
(Photos by Getty Images)

Our premiere of "Life 2.0" was sold out with 75 on the waitlist. I
was quite nervous as the lights dimmed, but after more than 3 years of
making the film, what a huge relief to finally share with a live
audience! The crowd was lively -- more laughs than I expected -- and
responded as I hoped to the dramatic ups and downs. Once the
screening was over, we had a very engaging and thoughtful Q&A --
joined by my fellow producers Andrew Lauren and Stephan Paternot, and
DP Dan Krauss and composer Justin Melland. As I take shuttles around
snowy Park City, I'm running into a surprising number of people who
have seen or heard of the film and want to chat about virtual worlds
and the implications for society. The film has people thinking and
debating, which was my greatest hope. What a tremendous honor to be
here -- one of the happiest moments of my career. -- Jason Spingarn-Koff

Friday, January 22, 2010

And They're Off! IFP Alumni (and some Staff) hit Park City

Yup, it's that time of year again. When Robert Redford dusts off his snowshoes, and the film industry get our their Airborne tabs! This year, IFP's new Interim Executive Director Joana Vicente and Milton Tabbot, Senior Director of Programming, are braving the cold, along with a couple dozen IFP alumni, who are premiere at the Dances - both Sun and Slam. And for your pleasure, they'll be blogging and posting photos right at this spot. Jason Springer-Koff, director of Life 2.0 has very generously agreed to share his big premiere experience with all of us! And we have a few other surprises in store.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


On the 10th anniversary of its partnership with the Rotterdam International Film Festival’s CineMart & Rotterdam Lab, IFP is pleased to announce its 2010 IFP/Rotterdam Lab Fellowship recipients, Jason Orans and Thomas Woodrow.

As the Rotterdam Lab’s exclusive U.S. partner organization, IFP annually selects and sponsors two emerging producers to participate in the Lab’s prestigious four-day training workshop. Running concurrently with the CineMart Co-production Market held January 30-February 3, 2010, the Lab is specifically is designed to build up the international networks and experiences of its participants.

Jason Orans’ feature film producing credits include NIGHT CATCHES US (Sundance Dramatic Competition 2010), starring Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce; DARE (Sundance Dramatic Competition 2009), starring Emmy Rossum and Alan Cumming and GOODBYE SOLO (Venice 2008 - FIPRSCI International Critics Prize), written and directed by Ramin Bahrani. His upcoming projects include UNTILTLED RAMIN BAHRANI PROJECT.

Thomas Woodrow’s feature film credits include BASS ACKWARDS (Sundance NEXT 2010), directed by Linas Philips; TRUE ADOLESCENTS, starring Mark Duplass and Melissa Leo, and SHADOWS, directed by Milcho Manchevski, which was the highest grossing theatrical release ever in its home country, Macedonia. His upcoming projects include Craig Johnson & Mark Heyman’s THE SKELETON TWINS.

“Applications to this Fellowship were up an astounding 90% from previous years. This shows that in our current economic climate, there is a real hunger for independent producers at all budget levels to expand their networks beyond the U.S. marketplace” says Amy Dotson, Deputy Director of IFP. “Through this initiative, as well as thorough Cinemart’s yearly participation in IFP’s No Borders International Co-Production Market, we are proud to partner with Rotterdam to continue to help provide vital opportunities for talented U.S. and international producers to collaborate.”

Previous Fellows have included Paul Mezey (MARIA FULL OF GRACE), Howard Gertler (SHORTBUS), Effie Brown (ROCKET SCIENCE), Mynette Louis (MUTUAL APPRECIATION) and Anish Savjani (WENDY & LUCY).