The ITVS Indies Roundup

Posted on May 4, 2012

A curated list of indie news and recommendations from ITVS’s Rebecca Huval.


Sadly, film festivals are wrapping up this week. Hot Docs in Toronto, the largest North American documentary festival, closes this weekend. The event brimmed with films about edgy artists, such as Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. At Hot Docs today, filmmakers are protesting the Canadian government’s cuts to CBC, NBF, and Telefilm Canada. The industry has lost 1,500 full-time documentary jobs in the past two years, according to the Documentary Organization of Canada. (via Realscreen) To succeed as a documentary filmmaker in such dire economic times, read advice from first-time filmmakers who are screening their work at Hot Docs.

For a more personal touch, check out director Neil Drumming’s dispatches for The Atlantic as he tackles his first feature film. The screenwriter didn’t want to direct, but he eventually forced himself to take the plunge: “The good news was that once I decided to direct the film myself, I found that other people—smart, talented, creative people—were drawn to my commitment.” 

The San Francisco International Film Festival drew to an end last night. One of the last events, Sam Green’s premiere of “The Love Song of Buckminster Fuller,” transformed a documentary screening into performance art. Green narrated the film and indie pop band Yo La Tengo accompanied his cinematic ode to the groundbreaking sustainable architect. This type of live performance might revitalize experimental documentaries, according to Indiewire

Jennifer Baichwal didn’t expect to become a documentary filmmaker. She was on her way to becoming a professor, but rerouted to use her research chops in the doc world. Her academic background helps her film without a script: “You can’t make reality conform to your predetermined idea of what should happen,” Baichwal told Zeitgeist Films.  “Documentary really is about being in the moment and figuring out what’s going on and reacting to what’s going on.” Need advice for capturing landscapes on your shoot? 

Here are simple tips from National Geographic nature photographers.


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