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Interviews

Interview with AFM Managing Director Jonathan Wolf @ 2016 AFM

IFTA’s Executive Vice President and Managing Partner of the AFM since 1998, Jonathan Wolf deems the AFM as the global film world coming to its Hollywood Mecca. A graduate of the University of Southern California Business School, Wolf's extensive professional background, previous to his pivotal roles with IFTA and AFM, includes film distribution as well as finance as CFO of New World International in international operations. The AFM acts as a six month Fall bookend market to the Spri...

Cinematographer Rachel Morrison on “Mudbound”- Spotlight on the 55th New York Film Festival

“I dreamed in brown,” says Laura McAllan (Carey Mulligan) of the grime that permeates rural life in Mudbound. Her lament gave cinematographer Rachel Morrison a departure point for evoking Dee Rees’ WWII-era drama set in the Mississippi Delta. Much of what we see in the film, from fields and farmhouses to instincts and mores, comes from the sodden muck. Adapted from Hillary Jordan’s 2008 novel, Mudbound is a tale of two families, one black and one white, ...

Cinematographer Sam Levy Illuminates “Lady Bird”- Spotlight on the 55th New York Film Festival

Back in 2016, cinematographer Sam Levy and actor-turned-director Greta Gerwig were envisioning the look of Lady Bird, a seriocomic coming-of-ager set in Sacramento during 2002 and 2003. “She wanted it to look like a memory,” Levy tells me in a recent phone chat. “Memory” wasn’t just some theme Gerwig randomly turned up; rather, her film partly drew on her experiences of coming up in California’s capital city. Two more words would round out the DP&rsquo...

Cinematographer Ed Lachman Talks “Wonderstruck” -- Spotlight on the 55th New York Film Festival

  Here’s a question for you: Can illustrated novels be made into compelling films? With his screen production of Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck, director Todd Haynes suggests what it takes. One handy element is cinematographer Ed Lachman. Using Kodak 35mm black-and-white and color film stocks, the cinematography shows off Lachman at his best. It’s at once rapturous and studied, classical and jazzy, stylized and raw. There’s a reason for the dualities. Tw...

Cinematographer Shane F. Kelly Talks “Last Flag Flying"

  What is manhood? How are men to act in the world, and where do truth and responsibility fit in? Having studied boyhood in depth, now director Richard Linklater tracks the next phase of masculinity in his new film Last Flag Flying. To help visualize the maturation arc, he once again tapped cinematographer Shane F. Kelly. They both like progressions. Their previous collaboration Everybody Wants Some!! was billed as a follow up to Linklater’s Dazed and Confused,...

“Loving Vincent”: A Conversation with Directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman

Who hasn’t looked at Vincent van Gogh’s masterpiece Starry Night and felt the brushstrokes swirl? Like many of the Dutch artist’s oils, the dabs of color rolling around the stars and moon give an illusion of movement. Now along comes Loving Vincent to wrestle that cinematic quality into a feature film. Despite the vibrant palette, the story shades noir. Using van Gogh’s paintings to sleuth out the murky circumstances surrounding his alleged suicide,...

Interview with director Ryan Suffern for 'Finding Oscar' (2017)

Director/Producer Ryan Suffern's award winning documentary 'FINDING OSCAR' (2017) recounts the tragic story of the infamous massacre of Dos Erres, Guatemala which took place on December 6th 1982 during which over 200 people, including women and children, were brutally murdered by the Guatemalan military under de facto president Efrain Rios Montt. The film follows the decades long search for Oscar Ramirez, the unlikely survivor of the tragedy who was then only three years ...

Interview with director Ryan Suffern for 'Finding Oscar' (2017)

Director/Producer Ryan Suffern's award winning documentary 'FINDING OSCAR' (2017) recounts the tragic story of the infamous massacre of Dos Erres, Guatemala which took place on December 6th 1982 during which over 200 people, including women and children, were brutally murdered by the Guatemalan military under de facto president Efrain Rios Montt. The film follows the decades long search for Oscar Ramirez, the unlikely survivor of the tragedy who was then only three years of age. P...

“Brigsby Bear”: Interview with Director Dave McCary

It’s a mainstay of the screenwriting rulebook that a protagonist must undergo special change. But such rules are meant to be broken, and Brigsby Bear, the winsome first feature from Dave McCary, makes the case for non-conformity. That’s because James, the man-child at the center of the story, remains true to who he is while the surrounding characters embrace his quirks and trace the bolder transformative arc. There’s a reason for James’ tenacity. We meet...

“Endless Poetry”: Interview with Director/Production Designer Alejandro Jodorowsky

Endless Poetry (Poesía Sin Fin) marks director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s third collaboration with his preferred production designer: himself. Like his 1970s cult classics El Topo and The Holy Mountain, which he also styled, this latest extravaganza takes a phatasmagoric deep dive into poetic consciousness. It’s from that fathomless fount that the octogenarian creator reimagines his coming of age.  The second filmed memoir in a projected series of ...

Interview With Director Cameo Wood for 'Real Artists' (2017)

  Director/Producer Cameo Wood’s first narrative film 'Real Artists' (2017) starring Tiffany Hines (Bones, 24: Legacy) and Tamlyn Tomita (Joy Luck Club/Berlin Station) made its debut at the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival as part of the 2017 Marché du Film. Adapted from the short story by bestselling author Ken Liu, 'Real Artists' takes place in the near future and tells the story about an animator challenged to ch...

Interview with Directors Daniel Mentz and Julia Butler for SLIPAWAY (2017)

    Director/writer Daniel Mentz and director/writer Julia Butler co-direct 'Slipaway' (2017), a heartrending film about the unlikely friendship between an older woman, Fall (played by Elaine Partnow), and a young man, Adam (Jesse Pepe). Reminiscent of The Intouchables (2011), the film presents a story about the platonic bond between an elderly ailing woman at the end of her life and a young man beginning his. Adam is a young homeless drug addict who dreams of becomi...

Interview With Director Cameo Wood for 'Real Artists' (2017)

Director/Producer Cameo Wood’s first narrative film 'Real Artists' (2017) starring Tiffany Hines (Bones, 24: Legacy) and Tamlyn Tomita (Joy Luck Club/Berlin Station) made its debut at the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival as part of the 2017 Marché du Film. Adapted from the short story by bestselling author Ken Liu, 'Real Artists' takes place in the near future and tells the story about an animator challenged to choose between her dr...

Interview With Italian Composer Umberto Smerilli

  Pescara born Umberto Smerilli is one of Italy's emerging masterful film composers. A graduate of the Italian National School of Cinema at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Umberto is best known for his work on 'Scrambled' (2007), 'Il Torneo' (2008) and 'Worldly Girl' (2016). He is a multi talent who synergizes the old and new world with confidence, grace and Italian panache. My first encounter with Umberto was at the Off Camera Film Festival in K...

Interview with Actress/Director Karen Allen @ 70th Annual Cannes Film Festival.

Actress Karen Allen has been acting for over 35 years in commercial film and theater. With some of her most renown characters being Katy from 'Animal House' (1978), Marion Ravenwood from 'Raiders of the Lost Arc' (1981) and 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' (2008), Jenny Hayden from 'Starman' (1984) and Claire Phillips from 'Scrooged' (1988), she has played hundreds of roles in film, TV and theater. An award winning actress and h...

Interview With Italian Composer Umberto Smerilli

Pescara born Umberto Smerilli is one of Italy's emerging masterful film composers. A graduate of the Italian National School of Cinema at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Umberto is best known for his work on 'Scrambled' (2007), 'Il Torneo' (2008) and 'Worldly Girl' (2016). He is a multi talent who synergizes the old and new world with confidence, grace and Italian panache. My first encounter with Umberto was at the Off Camera Film Festival in Krakow, Poland i...

Interview with Director Romina Schwedler for 'THE VISIT' (2017)

  Argentine born Director/Writer/Producer/Actress Romina Schwedler is a woman of many talents. She moved to NY at the age of 15 and began her career studying dance at the School of American Ballet and music at The Juilliard School. She followed with intensive acting training at the William Esper Studio during which she began to be featured in films and TV series. In 2014, she jumped behind the camera for the first time to direct a spec commercial. Through it she was s...

Interview with Animation Director Alain Delannoy on 'The Talk True Stories About the Birds & the Bees' (2016)

Producer/Director/DOP Alain Delannoy's short animation film 'The Talk True Stories About the Birds & the Bees' (2016) relates the very adult story about grownup men remembering the moment their fathers explained to them about the birds and the bees. Since its premiere, it has since been travelling to international festivals picking up numerous awards in its wake, including the Prix De Varti Award at Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Audience Award at Dawson City International Short ...

Interview with Actress/Director Karen Allen @ 70th Annual Cannes Film Festival.

Actress Karen Allen has been acting for over 35 years in commercial film and theater. With some of her most renown characters being Katy from 'Animal House' (1978), Marion Ravenwood from 'Raiders of the Lost Arc' (1981) and 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' (2008), Jenny Hayden from 'Starman' (1984) and Claire Phillips from 'Scrooged' (1988), she has played hundreds of roles in film, TV and theater. An award winning actress and househo...

Interview with 'POP-AYE' Producer Weijie Lai

    Singapore native producer Weijie Lai's latest film 'Pop-Aye' (2017) by Singapore born director Kristen Tan has received international acclaim during its festival circuit, having garnered multiple awards including the Sundance Screenwriting Award, Rotterdam Big Screen Award and the FIPRESCI Jury Award at the Netia Off Camera International Film Festival in Krakow, Poland. A graduate from NYU Tisch Asia in Singapore, Lai worked on two commercial feature...

Interview with 'POP-AYE' Producer Weijie Lai

  Singapore native producer Weijie Lai's latest film 'Pop-Aye' (2017) by Singapore born director Kristen Tan has received international acclaim during its festival circuit, having garnered multiple awards including the Sundance Screenwriting Award, Rotterdam Big Screen Award and the FIPRESCI Jury Award at the Netia Off Camera International Film Festival in Krakow, Poland. A graduate from NYU Tisch Asia in Singapore, Lai worked on two commercial feature films then went o...

Interview with PSIAF Animation Festival Director Brian Neil Hoff

    Brian Neil Hoff is the founder and festival director of the Palm Springs International Animation Festival (http://www.psiaf.org/home.html), the first edition of which is set to take place post AFM from November 9-11, 2017. Hoff has been working in animation for the last fifteen years and is a teacher/mentor of animation at the Palm Springs High School. He began the works for the PSIAF in 2009 and has now created a snowball effect with over 2,000 film submissions and...

Interview With Writer/Director Amman Abbasi for 'DAYVEON' (2017)

  Writer/director Amman Abbasi's debut film 'Dayveon' (2017) is a coming of age story about 13 year-old Dayveon as he navigates his way through the oppressing Arkansas summer heat and the relentless bullying of a local gang after having just lost his older brother. The film screened to international buyers at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival Market with Visit Films conducting international sales. FilmRise is handling North American distribution. The film pre...

Interview With Kayvan Mashayekh About PGA "Producers Without Borders" @ 70th annual Cannes Film Festival

  PGA producer Kayvan Mashayekh  PGA “Producers Without Borders” started in Cannes three years ago by PGA member Kayvan Mashayekh and the general manager of The Royal Film Commission of Jordan Geroge David. The event is sponsored by The Royal Film Commission of Jordan.   After having helped to cast the various panelists myself for this year's 3rd annual PGA PWB edition, I interviewed Kayvan. Here is what he had to say:   How did ...
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