Perhaps no one was more surprised than local producer Joe Campo of Grassroots films when the Justice Film Festival at the Sheen Center in Manhattan named his film Outcasts as the winner of the prize for best film of the festival on October 8th. One of the films that Outcasts beat out was The Story of Us, which featured Morgan Freeman who made a personal appearance at the screening. The judges explained that they chose Campo’s film because Outcasts offered the public a way of seeing the outcasts in a completely different light, that light was hope, viewing the problems of the poor in a non-judgmental way.
October 12th was the 10th Annual Bushwick Film Festival‘s opening night, which showcased the film “In Case of Emergency,” directed and written by Stefanie Sparks. Sparks has been working in film for half her life; In Case of Emergency is her second feature film.
Entering the film festival was a bit daunting for me—I don’t usually attend these types of events. To celebrate the opening night, there was a red carpet reception at the well known House of Yes (2 Wyckoff Ave). Photographers, journalists, and other press and filmmakers were in attendance and mingling amidst bright flashing lights. I was mostly looking forward to the film screening and hadn’t thought about networking, but was approached by a director/producer and a couple of artists. It was a pleasant surprise but also appreciated. Once I entered the theater, I was taken aback by the grandiose scene. The night started off with an emcee and an interview with the founder and CEO of Bushwick Film Festival, Kweighbaye Kotee. She’s an 11-year resident of Bushwick with a passion for independent films.
“Stories are the best way to bring people together,” Kweighbaye says. Her hope with BFF is to inspire women; in particular, women of color. She chose Stefanie Sparks’ film In Case of Emergency to kick off the opening night and the festival itself. “What I’m looking for is diversity on and off camera. An extra bonus with this film is that it was local,” Kotee says. Continue reading
Filmmakers! Nitehawk needs your shorts by June 25th! And the prizes are pretty big: the Festival Jury Winner receives post-production sound services from Heard City (worth $16k) and post-production coloring from Nice Shoes (worth $20k). Your short must run under 20 minutes long, and should have been completed in 2015-2017.
Full submission details here. Send in your films now!
Picture this: you and bae decide to spice things up so you get down and dirty with a sex toy—a totally magical night. But, your night was actually so magic that you wake up the next day and discover you’ve switched bodies, which is simultaneously terrifying and awesome. We’ve seen body-switching in movies before (Freaky Friday, Vice Versa and The Change Up, among others), but the new film Inside You goes deeper and explores gender, sexuality and marriage while still remaining hilarious. After three years of challenging production, badass lady director Heather Fink is ready to put her latest film out into the world. Using shows and films like Louis, Girls, Obvious Child and Bridesmaids as the script’s true-to-life comedic inspiration, she shot the film right here in Greenpoint and other parts of North Brooklyn (you can see Bushwick’s Catland in the trailer, masquerading as the sex shop). Heather (a Greenpointer) not only directed the film, but she also wrote it and stars in it. We chatted with her about her filmmaking process and her love of Greenpoint.
GP: How long did the film take to make (from writing the script through production)?
Heather: I finished the script in March 2014, ran the Kickstarter in June 2014, tried to shoot in October 2014 but had the lead actress drop out the day before the shoot. We re-tooled the project, I decided to act in it myself, and we finally shot in June 2015. We locked the picture edit by January 2016, and finished sound, color, VFX, music and titles by June 2016. I applied to festivals with this cut—and waited several months to hear back, taking me into 2017. I ran out of money so I needed to work several months to afford the final pieces—the end credits sequence, and we just finished the trailer. Every step of the way I had to work till I had enough money to pay for each thing. Now, it’s paid for.
We’ve all had that moment on the platform when we just couldn’t take it anymore. The G train wasn’t just late — it was non-existent. As in, its existence was doubted by anyone who took the train after 10:00 a.m. and before 3:00 p.m. You were so late to your class/art modeling gig/poor excuse for a job, you started having thoughts about jumping on the train tracks with the rats just to alleviate the pain of your broke life.
To add insult to injury, once you got on the G, the man next to you was jamming so hard on his headphones that his flailing appendages were certainly very definitely in your personal space. Continue reading
I am always amazed at the creativity of people around here. It seems like everyday I’m reading about a cool new project or better yet, seeing the fruits of someone’s labor and passion blossoming on stage, screen, page, or canvas. The latest to come along and get me excited is Prism, a (hopefully) forthcoming anthology film by six local filmmakers. I say “hopefully” because there is an Indiegogo campaign underway to raise funds. I also had the chance to speak with the project’s producer Anna Dale-Meunier. You’re going to want to learn more about this one, believe me. Continue reading
Calling all filmmakers! The regular submissions deadline for the 3rd Annual Greenpoint Film Festival, happening this Fall, is May 15, 2013. Submissions are open to filmmakers locally and globally. Categories for consideration are Narrative, Documentary, Experimental and Animated. The late submission deadline is June 15, 2013.
We see them everywhere: on our streets, in our parks and sometimes in our bars and restaurants. Film shoots are a guaranteed daily encounter on the streets of Greenpoint. And while the scale and size of these productions vary from multi-million to zero, one thing is for sure: Greenpoint gets a lot of moviemaking love!
Picture Planet, a collective of local filmmakers and artists, is currently in the final stages on their debut feature: a street-balling ’80s style-comedy called Chicken which was shot almost entirely in Greenpoint. I sat down with the boys behind Chicken to talk shop over some cheap beers and free pizza at Lulu’s. The main players are Dan Bowhers, the director of Chicken, Vandall Truong, lead actor, and Mike Kolawski, the film’s producer. Continue reading
When you walk down your block in Greenpoint do you run into a ton of interesting characters that would be great on film? I can think of a few off the top of my head. I live on Kingsland Ave, the block where the giant yellow monster truck is chained to a pole along with a flaming corvette. I could imagine the old chain smoking Polish lady and Mrs. Garcia, the badass Puerto Rican Grandma who I’m certain carries a knife, enlisting the crew at Vinnie’s Pizzeria to break the chains and hot wire the vehicles so the two can take joyrides to Rockaway Beach, Thelma & Louise style, and maybe pick up a few bearded hipster boy toys on the way. I’d watch that!
Now is your chance to celebrate all of those endearing, funny, outrageous or perhaps crazy people and get to know them a little better. On My Block Films, who goals it “to capture a wide spectrum of blocks throughout the five boroughs … to create a sense of belonging within a community,” is presenting On My Block: A Neighborhood Filmmaking Challenge in order “to create stronger communities in New York City through the collaborative filmmaking process.” And what a cast a bunch of Greenpointers would make!
Here is the deal: Beginning August 1, all eligible films will be posted and screened online from the time they are finished until November 1, 2012. The public will be able to vote on a film by liking it on Vimeo. The 30 films with the most Vimeo likes will move on to be judged by the Judging Panel the first week of November. The top-scoring 15 films will be screened at a physical outdoor festival in November. Awards will be presented to Best Narrative Film, Best Documentary Film and Best In Show.