Two Worlds, an Albuquerque festival of Native American theater and film, is looking for a team of 10 to 15 American Indian filmmakers, 18 and older, to work together on the development, scripting and production of a 10-minute film that will premiere Aug. 23 during the festival at Albuquerque’s VSA North Fourth Art Center. The film also will be shown at the third annual Creative Spirit screening in Los Angeles on Sept. 27. Although some background in film production is preferred, it’s not necessary to be a professional or experienced filmmaker to be part of the team. Training will be provided by mentors and high-tech equipment will be available. Workshops start in July with the development and writing of a 10-page script that reflects the festival’s theme, which is the conflicts confronting many American Indians today--modern ways vs. traditional ways, urban life vs. reservation life, etc. This will be followed by pre-production and training at the Duke City Shootout Digital Bootcamp, July 15 through 25. Filming begins the first full week of August and will continue for six to eight days, followed by editing. Interested persons should contact festival coordinator Ollie Reed Jr. at (505) 890-0756 or email@example.com. For more info, log on to vsartsnm.org.
Amid all the high-profile comic book movies flooding theaters this summer (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Dark Knight, Hellboy 2), there’s one more whose roots trace, rather quietly, back to the graphic novel format. Wanted is based on a six-issue miniseries from writer Mark Millar and illustrator J.G. Jones, published by Top Cow Productions in 2003. Admittedly, the movie version takes more than a few liberties with the original property. (Like, for example, dumping the entire central conceit.) Sure, it’ll inspire the ire of a few dedicated fanboys; but the film is just as likely to find a solid foothold among average, non-inkstained viewers eager to get blissed out on pure summertime action.
The year 2008 has not been kind to foreign and independent film. In January, only 17 indie features were picked up by distributors at the Sundance Film Festival, a drop from $53 million in deals in 2007 to a mere $25 million in 2008. This year’s highest-grossing import so far, the sentimental Mexican immigrant drama Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna), barely scraped up $12 million at the box office. Making matters worse, Paramount Pictures recently announced it was folding its indie label Paramount Vantage (less than six months after winning Academy Awards for There Will Be Blood). Last month, Warner Bros. said it would close its specialty division, Warner Independent Pictures. (Guess all that March of the Penguins money finally ran out.) At the same time, Picturehouse, the indie arm of New Line Cinema, was shuttered after corporate overlords Time Warner made New Line Pictures just another a subsidiary of Warner Bros. None of this paints a very rosy picture for the future of films that do not star Will Smith.
In a summer filled with comic book movies (Iron Man, The Hulk, Wanted, Hellboy 2), it seems inevitable that TV would go looking to the superpowered subgenre for inspiration. ABC Family jumped on that bandwagon recently, debuting the wacky superhero parody “The Middleman.”