The just released short film, The Refuge, focuses on the Gwich’in people of Alaska and Northern Canada and their more than three decade fight to protect the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling and other threats. Filming in such a remote location was severely challenging. As there are no cars in Arctic Village, bulky film equipment had to be transported by ATV or carried on foot. Electricity was also at a premium. Directors Kahlil Hudson and Alex Jablonski had access to just one electrical outlet for use in charging camera equipment and computers.
New York Women in Film & Television has awarded its $7,500 Ravenal Foundation Grant to Debra Kirschner for Mallwalkers. Kirschner also wrote the script. The film follows a retired music teacher – a recent widow and a lifelong goody-goody – who is coaxed by her daughter to take daily walks in the local mall. There she connects with a wild posse of seniors who suspect foul play at the mall, and she becomes determined to put a stop to it.
The Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, who twice received The Palme d'Or, are being awarded the Honorary Dragon Award at the 40th Göteborg Film Festival.
Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music provides a fascinating portrait of the melding of art and technology in the development of popular music. The eight-part PBS documentary finished at Technicolor PostWorks New York. Produced by Show of Force and directed by Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre, the series reaches back to the 1920s, when music was first committed to vinyl, but focuses in particular on the period from the 1960s to the present and the revolution that was set in motion by the late Sir George Martin and the Beatles through their innovative use of multi-tracking.
Erwin Brothers Entertainment and Kevin Downes Productions, in association with the Oklahoma Film + Music Office will start principal photography November 30 on the feature film I Can Only Imagine in Oklahoma. The film is utilizing the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program administered by OF+MO.
Film Mode Entertainment has acquired The Axe Murders of Villisca, a psychological thriller feature from Alpine Labs and director Tony E. Valenzuela.
Sony is expanding its FS Series Super 35mm professional family with the addition of the FS7 II camcorder, which adds advanced features including Electronic Variable ND technology, a lever lock type E-mount, and a new mechanical design for faster and easier set-up. The new FS7 II camcorder is designed for long-form shooting and production applications, especially documentaries and independent filmmaking.
Still Devout is a new AFI Thesis film written and directed by Melissa Perez, which follows the story of a young woman who embarks on a heart-wrenching journey to help find answers and healing for her brother’s mental illness. To help optimize the film’s production workflow in preparation for post-production, Perez met with Burbank-based AlphaDogs for a personalized post consultation before the film was shot.
Last July PostWorks New York announced that it had formed a new digital film distribution service, PostWorks Digital Cinema, and hired industry veteran Greg Fornero to lead it. The plan was to work with indie film producers and distributors, international film festivals and independent digital intermediate facilities to provide digital cinema package duplication, drive set rentals and sales, KDM management and broadband content delivery services. To get a progress report on the new service I recently visited the PostWorks’ facility in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood to meet with senior vice president for theatrical services Clark Henderson.
June Pictures and Nine Stories, in association with the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, has begun principal photography in Oklahoma on the feature film Wildlife. Paul Dano will bring Richard Ford’s American classic Wildlife to the screen, marking his directorial debut. Academy Award nominees Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan are starring in this period drama.