At their surface, these 5 films have very little in common apart from their budget and lack of star-power. They manage to do things differently, and they do them very well. While they explore conventionally unmarketable concepts, characters, and relationships, what they do correctly is thrust into focus due to air tight writing, solid direction, attention to detail and near pitch perfect acting.
toronto | new york | moscow | belgrade
5 Films that Broke the Rules
11 Stages of a Master Screenplay
Meet Sasha K. Gordon, the star of David Bezmozgis' film Natasha, and one of the more talked about actresses of 2017 due to her stellar work in the film. As Natasha heads for a theatrical release in New York on April 28th, we caught up with Sasha and talked about her character, the film, her upcoming off-broadway play Terezin, and her interesting journey from Odessa, Ukraine to New York City.
Canada in the Spotlight
Calgary Underground Film Festival Co-Founder Q&A
In 2010, a video surfaced online of a girl throwing puppies into a river in Bosnia. It sparked rage online with people protesting that the girl should face legal consequences, jail time, or even death for her actions. This went as far as director Michael Bay offering $50,000 in exchange for her capture. The girl in the video was 12 years old. The story is the subject of Ben’s first feature film Find this Dumb Bitch and Throw her in the River.
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While Irishman Johnny O'Reilly is a graduate of NYU, he's spent over a decade in Russia and is fluent in the language. His film Moscow Never Sleeps takes place over 24 hours on Moscow City Day, and captures several loosely connected stories in an engaging fast-paced larger than life film about a city most of the world knows very little about.
Sasha K. Gordon Q&A. From Odessa to New York City
You've heard of the three act structure. Who hasn't? You're taught from childhood that this blueprint for story telling is as old as time itself. The simplest form is; beginning, middle and end. I much prefer Aristotle's version; pity, fear, and inevitable catharsis.
It isn't that film makers can't seem to grasp the basics of this formula, but rather that there's so much more to it that they're never taught. Films like The Godfather and No Country for Old Men are rare in their ability to carry our attention from scene to scene, never allowing us to pull our attention from the screen. But how did they do it?
Ben Brand Talks Latest film, Controversy, and Paul Ozgur
Recently, we attended a CBC panel for film makers which focused on the Toronto International Film Festival. At the cocktail party afterwards, someone said “I’m so tired of hearing about these random festivals. Newport Beach? I mean, what’s that?“ In a nutshell, this is the prevailing mentality among most newer filmmakers. Sundance, Tiff, Venice, Cannes, Berlin, or bust.
Maybe it feels cool to say you’re submitting to Sundance or Cannes. Maybe getting into one of these festivals will finally prove to your parents that the film school tuition fees they cry about each morning may actually result in a career for you. Maybe, people like the woman at the cocktail party just aren’t researching their options.
We sat down with CUFF Co-founder and festival director Brenda Lieberman to find out what the Calgary Underground Film Festival has to offer filmmakers and audiences, her advice to filmmakers, and the plans for CUFF as it heads into it's 14th year this spring.
Johnny O'Reilly on the Side of Moscow we've Never Seen.
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