Every year we eagerly anticipate who the Filmmaker Magazine staff will highlight as the current class of hot indie talent in their "25 New Faces" issue. There's always a few surprises, and this year, we're pleased that a few of our own talented alumni have been highlighted-
Rebecca Richman Cohen participated in the 2009 Documentary Independent Filmmaker Labs with her film War Don Don, about the international defense team for, and war crimes conviction of a Sierra Leonean rebel leader. War Don Don has played and won awards at numerous festivals, and will air on HBO in September 29.
Victoria Mahoney and Susan Youssef were both among the powerhouse women directors bringing their features to this year's Narrative Independent Filmmaker Labs.
Victoria Mahoney's Yelling To The Sky, which Scott Macaulay calls a "powerful, emotionally nuanced debut feature about a New York City teenager growing up in a mixed-race family" features Zoe Kravetz, Tim Blake Nelson and Gabourey Sibide.
Habibi Rasak Kharban (Darling, Something's Wrong With Your Head) from Lebanese-Syrian-Brooklyner Susan Youssef is the first film to be shot in Gaza in 15 years. Habibi is based on the ancient Sufi parable of the Majnun Layla, the story of a man so smitten with a nearly unattainable woman he goes insane in his quest for her.
Habibi Rasak Kharban and Yelling to the Sky are both in post-production and are available for meetings with industry at Independent Film Week; industry interested in more information about these projects can register to participate here.
Matt Porterfield, is our fourth in the 25 New Faces. Porterfield came to Independent Film Week's Emerging Narrative program with his script Metal Gods in 2008. The script won our Panasonic camera package grant, but the shoot turned into his acclaimed Putty Hill, a Baltimore-based tour of the friends and family of a recently OD'd young man which debuted in Berlin and was recently picked up by Cinema Guild for a Fall theatrical release.
Congratulations to you all - we knew you when!