Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Watch The Gothams Live Monday, November 29th at 8PM!

It’s time to gather your family and friends. Bring on the food. And break out the good glasses for a giant glass of bubbly to toast another wonderful year….

No, we’re not talking about Thanksgiving.

In just five days, the 20th Anniversary IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards – the biggest awards show of the indie film world – will be streamed live on

That’s right, wherever you are in the world, you too can attend the Gothams in its entirety this year. And just like those celebrating here in New York, feel free to meet, chat, and connect with other film lovers to discuss the films and nominees. The fresh faces. And of course, gossip about what everyone is wearing!

Confirmed presenters at the awards this year include: Julianne Moore, Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg,Barbara Kopple, Anthony Mackie, Leighton Meester, Rosie Perez, Sam Rockwell, John Turturro and Michelle Williams. And, like any true film fan, you can be on the lookout to be the first to discover the stars of tomorrow today.

As everyone knows, there are no rules in independent film. So watch in your pajamas if you must. Make it interesting by breaking out the ballots. Or follow the lead of Gotham hosts Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson who suggest “that every time either of them says the word “independent,” everyone at home watching or attending the awards themselves must take a shot.”

And remember, the party doesn’t stop at the stroke of midnight. Nominated films are still in theatres. On VOD. Available directly from filmmakers’ websites. So, make your New Year’s resolution early to be a champion of independent film every day and all year long, supporting the filmmakers and artists you see here tonight.

Learn more at: and

Monday, November 15, 2010

Champion Indie Film With Small, Deliberate Steps

Earlier this fall, I took part on a fantastic panel at the Woodstock Film Festival lead by esteemed critic Thelma Adams, who led FilmDistrict's Jeanne Bernie, Louverture Film's Joslyn Barnes and myself in a fun and spirited panel on the many, many roles women play in this crazy business we call film.

We had quite a discussion that covered little bit of everything - from motherhood to gobos, as I recall- with a lot of laughter and irreverence thrown in for good measure.

But at the end of the day, despite our different paths and personalities, it became clear that the one thing we all had in common was that when life got crazy, production financing went south, and plans went out the window - we somehow found a way to keep our jobs - and our heads up - by simply, humbly starting fresh each morning and continuing to push forward any way we could with small, but deliberate, steps.

This week, I've been thinking a whole lot about another group of women who are currently pushing forward in a big way to ensure their stories are heard. Their films are seen. Their careers able to thrive. They're spending hours in LA, New York, Amsterdam and beyond in dark editing suites, pouring over marketing materials, finding that last bit of funding to jump start their next steps.

One by one in the coming months, they'll be introducing us to their very first feature films at Sundance, Slamdance, Rotterdam, Berlin, True/False, SXSW and beyond. It's an exciting and terrifying time for them, in equal and oscillating measure.

At this year's IFP Independent Filmmaker Labs (the only labs in the world that help first-time feature filmmakers complete, market and distribute their films), we have the highest percentage of women directors and producers we've ever had taking part in this year's program. And as you'll soon learn for yourselves, they are fierce!

We'll be hearing a lot more from these ladies over the coming months as they charge into festivals, theatres and your living room thanks to the the wonders of VOD. Already, good news and good press is trickling out about Lab Fellows Susan Youssef's recent 2010 Women in Film Grant and Victoria Mahoney's Elle Magazine recognition as one of 2010's Elle Women in Hollywood.

And we're excited to see all these Lab Fellows - and fellas too! - at our Distribution Lab here in New York December 9-11. Where after months of hard work, strategy, and struggle we get together one last time to remind each other that what it really comes down to at the end is this: That it's not just about this project. Or this Lab. Or this incredible, hardworking group of filmmakers finding their way through the indie wilds.

It's about each of us - filmmakers and film lovers all - coming together to ensure that we continue to be champions of independent film.

It's a challenge that holds true for emerging and veteran talent alike. It's both simple and powerful. And even still, fueled by small, deliberate steps.

So when you discover a new face in the crowd in the coming months- whether its one of our IFP Lab Fellows or anyone of the thousands of talented filmmakers and artists out there shooting, cutting, building websites, and planning for their festival debuts in tandem - don't forget to tell your friends. Keep the story going. Provide support any way you can. And help them to push on.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nominees Announced for the 1st Ever Festival Genius Audience Award

Last night, at the Alfred Dunhill store in New York City, actor Oliver Platt (The Big C, Please Give) took the stage to announce the nominees for the first ever FESTIVAL GENIUS AUDIENCE AWARD. The award, presented by IFP and Slated (Owner of Festival Genius) will be given out on November 29th at the 20th Anniversary Gothams Independent Film Awards.

The Festival Genius Audience Award celebrates this year’s audience award winners from across the top 50 US and Canadian film festivals. True to the democratic spirit of the independent film community, all nominees were determined through online voting. Over 12,000 votes came in to narrow the initial list of twenty-six films down to five. Those nominees are:

Winter’s Bone, directed by Debra Granik, also nominated for three other Gotham Awards including Best Feature, Best Ensemble and Breakthrough Actor for Jennifer Lawrence. Winter’s Bone won the audience award for feature film at the 2010 San Francisco and Traverse City Film Festivals.

Waiting for Superman, directed by Davis Guggenheim, which won the audience award for documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

White Irish Drinkers, directed by John Gray, which won the audience award for feature film at the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival.

9000 Needles, directed by Doug Dearth, which won the audience award for best documentary at the 2010 Phoenix Film Festival.

Brotherhood, directed by Will Canon, which won the audience award for best feature at the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW).

Voting to select the final winner starts today at, and will end on November 29th at 5 pm EST. One lucky voter will win a night’s stay at the Andaz Wall Street in New York City plus two tickets to the Gotham Awards.

As the first major award show of the film season, the Gotham Independent Film Awards provides critical early recognition and media attention to worthy independent films. This new award will be presented alongside other competitive categories including: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You. This year, actors Robert Duvall and Hilary Swank, director Darren Aronofsky and Focus Features CEO, James Schamus, will each be presented with career tributes.

Check out for a full list of nominees, and don’t forget to visit to vote. Then, tune to on the evening of November 29th to live-stream the entire award show.

We’ll see you there!

Friday, November 5, 2010

IFP/Rotterdam Lab Producer's Fellowship Call For Entry

November in New York City is here, bringing a fresh slate of great indies, docs and awards-season films vying for our attention and of course, throngs of athletes lining the sidewalks getting in their final jog before marathon weekend.

Across the Atlantic, IFP's long-time international partners Marit van den Elshout & Jacobine van der Vloed are in Rotterdam hard at work preparing for the 10th annual Rotterdam Lab. This terrific four-day training workshop is designed to help producers from around the world build up their international network and experience.

As the sole U.S. partner, IFP annually selects two producers to participate in the Rotterdam Lab, which runs concurrently with the CineMart Co-production Market (January 30-February 4, 2011).The Fellowship is open to producers with at least one narrative, feature producing credit who are current IFP Members at any level.

Past IFP Producer Fellows have included many of our talented members who continue to work tirelessly to ensure that independent films connect with audiences here and abroad. Paul Mezey (Half Nelson), Howard Gertler (Shortbus), Effie Brown (Real Women Have Curves), Dan Carey (Cold Souls), Mynette Louis (Mutual Appreciation), Anish Savjani (Wendy & Lucy), Ben Howe (Treeless Mountain) are all previous recipients of IFP's fellowship. 2010 Producers Jason Orans (Night Catches Us) and Thomas Woodrow (Bass Akwards) most recently took part, enjoying the one-to-one meetings, networking opportunities and of course, an unforgetable Indonesian feast with fellow filmmakers and industry that any working producer - or marathoner! - would envy.

To apply for this fellowship, please send your one-page letter of inquiry and resume to Deputy Director Amy Dotson by Monday, November 15th. All finalists will be notified by Monday, November 22nd of acceptance.

Good luck to everyone in the home stretch and don't forget to enjoy the run!