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Interviews

Interview with Animation Creator Brian Neil Hoff at AFM 2016

  AFM is not only a place where international sales agents sell their titles to buyers from all over the world, but it’s a mecca for independent producers to find their producing partners and financing for their films. Writer and producer Brian Neil Hoff did just that while at this AFM to find partners on his animation project called ‘Secret Agent 00K9’, action adventure about a spy dog detective who travels the animal world solving crimes and mysteries. I interviewe...

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...

AFM Interview with PGA Producer Sasha Yelaun

Moldovan born Sasha Yelaun is an Irvine based PGA producer who opts to stay out of the LA madness. He travels to LA a few times a week for important meetings but for the most part he feels that if you really want to get stuff done you need as little distraction as possible. He recently attended the AFM for meetings about packaging his latest films. He has worked on such films as The Book of Love (2016), Wild Oats (2016), 10,000Saints (2015) and Benjamin Troubles (2015). He has a number o...

Interview with Writer/Director Lucky McKee on 'Misfortune' (2017) at AFM

Writer/Director Lucky McKee's latest film, 'Misfortune', was announced at the 2016 American Film Market. McKee is known for his successes in the horror/thriller genre with such titles as 'The Woman' (2011), 'Red' (2008) and 'May' (2002) under his belt. 'Misfortune' is a noir thriller about three friends in the wilderness caught up in a greedy battle over a fortune; the film is currently in pre-production stages and Radiant Films International is hand...

Interview with Animation Creator Brian Neil Hoff at AFM 2016

AFM is not only a place where international sales agents sell their titles to buyers from all over the world, but it’s a mecca for independent producers to find their producing partners and financing for their films. Writer and producer Brian Neil Hoff did just that while at this AFM to find partners on his animation project called ‘Secret Agent 00K9’, action adventure about a spy dog detective who travels the animal world solving crimes and mysteries. I interviewed Brian dur...

DP Sean Porter Retrogazes “20th Century Women”

“It was just a subconscious vibe: We’re going to get along and we’re going to augment each other,” recalled cinematographer Sean Porter of his first Skype chat with director Mike Mills. “Its kind of like love at first sight.” The feeling was clearly mutual, and it led to Mills hiring Porter to shoot his new film 20th Century Women. It wasn’t an obvious choice. As the 34-year-old DP pointed out, “We grew up in totally different generations.&...

Interview with "Julieta" Production Designer Antxón Gómez

There’s nothing pretty about heartbreak and guilt or abandonment and loss. But Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar has a knack for gussying up even the darkest themes, and Julieta brings his latest example.  The film is constructed from three Alice Munro short stories — Chance, Soon and Silence — gathered in the Canadian author’s Runaway collection. A fair bit of running away goes on in Almodóvar&rsqu...

Production Designer Hannah Beachler Beams on “Moonlight”

Moonlight, the new film by Barry Jenkins, follows a gay African-American’s quest for identity in a disadvantaged section of Miami. Just as the moon projects no light of its own, but bounces reflected sunlight off its surface, so too the cypher at the core of Jenkins’ drama derives his earliest sense of self from what others make of him. Yet Moonlight is richly illuminating. The production designer Hannah Beachler was tapped to visualize its three distinct phases. Drawn f...

Photographer Elsa Dorfman Looks at "The B-Side"

Using large Polaroid film can get pricey. That’s why photographer Elsa Dorfman always made a point of snapping two photos of her sitters with her large-format Polaroid 20-inch-by-24-inch camera. They got to choose one, and she took the remaining “B-Side.” Dorfman’s distinctive former practice and persona inform The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography. Featured in the 54th New York Film Festival, Errol Morris’s latest documentary carries on his ...

"Backtrack" (2015); Interview With George Shetsov

  Writer/Director Michael Petroni's film “Backtrack” was sold to international territories at this year's EFM in Berlin by sales agent Bankside Films. The film tells the story of psychologist Peter Bower (Adrien Brody) who is himself troubled by a forgotten past that has come back to haunt him. Visited by ghosts of his childhood, Peter seeks to uncover his unconsciously buried memories. But the more he seeks the truth, the more his life and the lives of his family ...

Why You Should See HOOLIGAN SPARROW: For Women’s Rights, Yes, But To Free a Human Rights Lawyer Too

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent It may be easier to get a trade deal with China than to get a condom, or get a jailed human rights attorney freed — these are just some of the peripheral issues on view in director Nanfu Wang’s documentary HOOLIGAN SPARROW, released last week in Los Angeles. Wang’s documentary also covers child rape, female endangerment, and the universally egregious harassment of voiceless women.  To put it in the words of its champions:...

From The Last Tycoon to Woody Allen’s Café Society: Why We Love Stories About Hollywood

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Woody Allen’s newest film Café Society just opened July 15, and it fits into a cinematic history of stories about Hollywood that audiences love. But Woody Allen himself has been a lightning rod for so long, the electricity generated off the attendant controversies could power a small town. That said, we’re talking about a movie, folks, not the personal life of the director. With that caveat, Café Soc...

Interview with Russian/Czech Actress Maria Darkina on Emir Kusturica's film 'On The Milky Road' (2016)

    Actress Maria Darkina with director Emir Kusturica (above) Russian/Czech talent Maria Darkina stars in Emir Kusturica's latest film 'On the Milky Road' (2016). She attended the 69th Cannes Film Festival in the Cannes young talent program where she did interviews and promoted her upcoming role in American indie film 'Storefront' (2016). Maria is one to watch on the international film front. Born in Russia and raised in Czech Republic, she now lives in Lo...

Director Susanna White on Brexit, John le Carré & Our Kind of Traitor with Stellan Skarsgård, Ewan McGregor

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent If in the fifty-odd years since British spymaster John le Carré began plying his trade as a novelist, you have somehow missed any of the screen versions of his works, know this: there are favorites. Everybody has one: from 1965’s Richard Burton classic The Spy Who Came in From The Cold to 2005’s The Constant Gardener (Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes) to 2011’s Gary Oldman-starrer Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy. John ...

From Punch Cards to Stunt Hacking to Alex Gibney’s ZERO DAYS & Symantec’s Eric Chien on Stuxnet

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent You have to hand it to filmmaker Alex Gibney (GOING CLEAR), he has taken on everything from Eliot Spitzer’s political downfall to the Enron debacle to Lance Armstrong’s doping to soft-money “super-lobbyist” Jack Abramoff to Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, not to mention Nigerian music legend Fela Kuti. So it comes as no surprise that Gibney goes from wrestling Xenu to rattling the NSA’s cage with ...

Interview with Director/Writer/Actor John Fortson for 'RATED' (2016) @ Palm Springs International Shortfest

Director/Writer/Actor John Fortson's short film 'RATED' (2016) has been making its round to film festivals since its world premiere at Sonoma International Film Festival in April where it won the Jury Award for Best Comedy Short. The film stars John's actor wife Christie Lynn Smith (Justified, The Crazies) who plays the lead Maggie, their daughter Abby Ryder Fortson (Togetherness, Ant-Man), and their son Joshua Fortson. RATED is currently screening at the 2016 Palm Springs Inte...

Interview with Writer/Director/Producer/Composer Alain Bidard for BATTLEDREAM CHRONICLE.

Martinique multi-talent Alain Bidard is wowing the film world with his debut animation feature film Battledream Chronicle (2015) which he wrote, directed, produced and composed. The film has traveled the globe at international film festivals this past year gaining multiple prize nominations and wins. The film most recently traveled to Animation Days at 2016 Cannes Film Festival. I recently interviewed Alain Bidard about his grand vision behind Battledream Chronicle. Here is what he had t...

Interview with Writer/Director/Producer/Composer Alain Bidard for BATTLEDREAM CHRONICLE.

Martinique multi-talent Alain Bidard is wowing the film world with his debut animation feature film Battledream Chronicle (2015) which he wrote, directed, produced and composed. The film has traveled the globe at international film festivals this past year gaining multiple prize nominations and wins. The film most recently traveled to Animation Days at 2016 Cannes Film Festival. I recently interviewed Alain Bidard about his grand vision behind Battledream Chronicle. Here is what he had t...
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