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Your Second Chance: New Faces Of NYC Indie Film Video

by Ted Hope
June 12, 2011 1:00 AM
31 Comments
  • |

We had a packed house at Lincoln Center for our "New Faces Of NYC Indie Film" panel. It was a good conversation. Sure, my game show idea did not work out, but hey, when you have eleven people up on the stage with you, it means you have eleven people not talking and that's hard to keep it lively. Luckily, all eleven people had a lot to say and are clearly a group of passionate and committed filmmakers, making sacrifices for the privilege of making their art. If you didn't get there, now through the miraculous power of the internet, you can give us two hours of your time and see what it is you missed.

Watch live streaming video from innovent at livestream.com

And yes, both I and Lincoln Center know, that this panel is very white, young, and generally male and probably straight -- and thus not truly representative of the diversity of talented filmmakers in our city. The Film Society of Lincoln Center has to be acknowledged (and praised) for what may well be the most diverse programming in the world -- this panel excluded. This panel evolved out of an initial idea to focus on new collaborative teams and that was shaping the "casting". It's not an excuse, just an effort to provide context. Of course, we can do better. And I will.

31 Comments

  • Kelly | May 19, 2013 1:57 PMReply

    *an indie film

  • Kelly | May 19, 2013 1:56 PMReply

    Ted/Indiewire: WHY are you excusing that the panel is white, mostly male, and straight? Is there are PROBLEM here? These people are here for a reason: they made interesting, provocative indie films in NY (or, in some cases...a indie film in NY). This PC 20th century apologist attitude is becoming annoyingly common. When someone who falls outside the "parameters" you mentioned earns a spot at the table I'm sure you'll offer it to that individual.

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | June 19, 2011 5:24 AMReply

    doghouse,

    even though there is a significant number of female & minority filmmakers working (some in areas that most would consider indie, some in other areas of film), the lack of recognition by respected institutions makes it harder for female & minority filmmakers to keep working, & for new minority filmmakers to develop careers. the FSLC event was just one event, but it fits into a wider pattern of a kind of segregation that exists in indie film (& for that matter, the entire film industry), a situation that does not favor minority & female filmmakers, though things have gotten a little bit better over the years, there is a long way to go (as you seem to know from your comments). later on.

    - S

  • doghouse | June 19, 2011 4:09 AMReply

    Sujewa Ekanayake,

    If your point is that American indie film is rich in women's and non-white contributions, I don't know what anyone here is complaining about. Who cares how the institutions constitute their panels, if the medium itself is fully expressive of diversity? I don't believe that to be the case, but if you do, what are we arguing over?

    More to the point, I tried to make the case that narrowness of focus doesn't necessarily suggest racism or sexism, any more than the fact that I may not have seen a Jody Foster movie means I must hate women. If you care to know, most of my movie diet is from Asia, South America, Europe and to the extent its available, Africa and the Arab world -- no shortage of non-white directors there, as well as a fair share of women. If that's not sufficiently expansive, I don't know what more I can do to satisfy you that (just perhaps) I'm as "comfortable with" diversity as you are. I no longer seek out every American indie, simply because (for this viewer) the rewards are too meager.

    As for FSLC - if you talk to programmers there, you might be surprised at how little respect they have for American independents. Which may be one reason they took so little trouble with this panel.

    Anyway, there's not much more mileage in this one, I'll say good night.

  • ekim namwen | June 19, 2011 2:21 AMReply

    there's a reason i stopped commenting on this blog...it's b/c the people commenting on it [for the most part] are idiots. read what i wrote and stop putting words into my mouth. that's all i ask. good bye. i'm off to make movies instead of wasting my time responding to morons about irrelevant issues that have nothing to do with the real world.

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | June 19, 2011 1:23 AMReply

    doghouse,

    PART 2 of list of films w/ significant creative participation by women, from Women & Hollywood blog:

    Women Centric Upcoming
    Bad Teacher - June 24
    Monte Carlo – co-written by Maria Maggenti and April Blair – July 1
    Love Crime- July 1
    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - July 15
    Another Earth - co-written by Brit Marling - July 22
    Sarah’s Key- July 22
    The Sleeping Beauty - Directed by Catherine Breillat - July 29
    Dirty Girl - August 5
    The Whistleblower – co-written and directed by Larysa Kondracki – August 5
    The Help- August 12
    Mozart’s Sister - August 19
    Circumstance - written and directed by Maryam Keshavarz - August 26
    Colombiana - August 26
    Higher Ground – directed by Vera Farmiga - August 26
    Janie Jones - summer
    The Tree - directed by Julie Bertuccelli - summer
    Saving Grace B. Jones - September 2
    Restless - September 16
    I Don’t Know How She Does It - September 16
    What’s Your Number - written by Jennifer Crittenden and Gabrielle Allan - September 30
    Flying Lessons – Christine Lahti, Maggie Grace - October 7
    Martha Marcy May Marlene - October 7
    So Undercover- October
    Breaking Dawn- written by Melissa Rosenberg- November 18
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – December 21
    Pariah – directed by Dee Rees - TBD
    The Iron Lady- directed by Phyllida Lloyd - TBD
    Young Adult – Charlize Theron – written by Diablo Cody - 4th quarter

    2012
    Joyful Noise – Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah - January 13
    One for the Money – Katherine Heigl, written by Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith and Liz Brixius - January 27
    Gone - February 22
    Snow White - March 16
    The Hunger Games - March 23
    Safe Haven - June 1
    Prometheus - June 8
    Brave - June 22
    Breaking Dawn - Part 2 - November 16

    Upcoming Women Directed
    Love Etc. - Jill Andresevic - July 1 (doc)
    The Future – directed by Miranda July - July 29
    One Day – directed by Lone Scherfig - August 19
    Vintner’s Luck- Niki Caro - summer
    In the Land of Blood and Honey - written and directed by Angelina Jolie - December 23

    Upcoming Films Written by Women
    Larry Crowne – co- written by Nia Vardalos - July 1
    Fright Night – written by Marti Noxon - August 19

    And the list continues, too big to post in two comments now, check out the entire thing at http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/archives/films_by_and_about_women/.

    A big thanks goes out to Women & Hollywood blog for this list.

    - S

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | June 19, 2011 1:17 AMReply

    doghouse,

    One of your previous comments lead me to believe that you are unaware of the significant number of movies made & released that have minority & or female directors or other key creatives who are female or minority. Check out the list below, this is just very recent & upcoming works, so, think about the number of projects below and multiply that by 12 months, 24 month, 26 months, etc & you will start to get an idea of the siginificant number of works that are, in this case, made by women or with women in key creative roles. (which one of these works are indie is a separate debate, but, for now, this is a good start) I'll do a similar post re: minority male filmmakers next. Enjoy:

    [Note, this list is so large i can't post it as one comment, so it is being separated into multiple parts, this is PART 1]

    From Women & Hollywood blog - http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/ :

    Films By and About Women
    Women Centric Currently Playing
    Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer - written by Kathy Waugh and Megan McDonald
    !Women Art Revolution - directed by Lynn Hershman Leeson
    The Topp Twins - Untouchable Girls directed by Leanne Pooley (doc)
    Bridesmaids - written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo
    Hey Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird - directed by Mary McDonagh Murphy (doc)
    Something Borrowed
    Prom - written by Katie Wech
    Hanna
    Soul Surfer
    Potiche
    Jane Eyre – written by Moira Buffini


    Women Directed Films Currently Playing
    Jig - Sue Bourne
    Buck - Cindy Meehl
    Hot Coffee - Susan Saladoff
    One Lucky Elephant - directed by Lisa Leeman
    Empire of Silver - directed by Christina Yao
    Kung Fu Panda 2 - directed by Jennifer Yuh
    The Beaver – directed by Jodie Foster
    Blank City - directed by Celine Danhier
    Meek’s Cutoff – directed by Kelly Reichardt
    Queen to Play - directed by Caroline Bottaro
    My Perestroika - directed by Robin Hessman

    Women Written Films Currently Playing
    X-Men: First Class - co-written by Jane Goldman
    The First Grader - written by Ann Peacock
    Jumping the Broom - written by Elizabeth Hunter and Arlene Gibbs

    ... continued on PART 2

    - S

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | June 18, 2011 12:53 PMReply

    doghouse,

    re: "If the sample at this panel seemed offensively selective, it’s still an accurate racial/gender representation of people actually making indie films today—the stuff that gets out, and gets seen. Panels devoted to people who haven’t actually made movies, or have a high opinion of themselves but no movies to speak of, would not be well-attended."

    the indie stuff that gets made & seen by you may be all films by "white" males because that's just what you are into/what you may be comfortable with, but, the stuff that gets made & released & seen overall - via all available avenues - netflix, dvd, vod, theatrical, etc contain a large number of films that are directed by (or with significant participation in casts & crews) minority & female filmmakers. i guess you need a list of recent indie movies that are available to the public in order to see this fact clearly. i'll make it & post it up later today.

    - S

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | June 18, 2011 12:39 PMReply

    ekim namwen,

    re: the following: "what do you complainers expect? every single panel in the world have exactly the same number of women and minorities as caucasian males."

    If a panel is named "New Faces of NYC Indie Film", then, yes, it would be a very good idea to have some non-"white" filmmakers on the panel & also several female filmmakers. Because, I am not sure if you've ever been to NYC, but it is a very diverse place, and there are literally dozens of excellent minority & female filmmakers in this town. Check out Filmmaker mag's new faces of indie film lists for the last 3 years, that'll introduce you to a pool of 75 filmmakers, many who live in NYC, and many that are non-"white", & many that are female.

    If, however, a panel is named "New Faces of North Korean Indie Film" & it is taking place in North Korea, I would not expect there to be a lot of diversity. But hey, this is the USA, & we've got a lot of diversity over here.

    Your ideal film industry may be an all-"white" male one because that's what you are comfortable with, but neither NYC, nor the world, nor the overall independent film scene is all "white" or all male. So, if you are disturbed by calls for diversity in the indie film world, or at least the recognition of the already existing diversity, then you might want to think about getting out of indie film in America.

    And re: "...that’s beyond absurd, not only b/c panels are pointless, but also b/c it shows that you don’t understand how life works."

    There is no one way in which life works for all time, for example, life worked in Nazi Germany & Imperial Japan in one way, & life works far differently in NYC 2011, so, if you believe that life is only supposed to work one way for all time, that change doesn't or won't happen, then you are in for a lifetime of shock & horror.

    Also, panels may be pointless to you, but many get a lot of uses out of panel events, that's why they continue to be produced.

    - S

  • doghouse | June 18, 2011 10:29 AMReply

    DP,

    The purpose of this panel was not social justice. It was a flashy event to promote the opening of a new film center, with some "hot, new" filmmakers. If there were more representative filmmakers who could have filled out the remainder of the panel, after they exhausted the available celebrities, your point is well taken. Ted and the Film Society might have tried harder. But no claims were made for the profundity of the filmmakers or the immortality of their contribution. It was a "fun" media event created around celebrity. You could take issue with that purpose, and there can't be many people willing to listen to 20-somethings hold forth on life and art for 2 blessed hours, but that's what it was.

    If in fact current indie product is more egalitarian than I supposed, thanks for the correction. But we need to look at who's turning up with professionally financed and produced features most likely to attract industry notice. As far as I know, that figure is still overwhelmingly white, male and straight, but I'd be happy to learn I'm wrong, if anybody actually knows.

    Finally, there's a difference between parochialism and racism/sexism. Ted likes what Ted likes at least in part because he's white and he's male. A woman in his position would doubtless have made other producing choices, as would a gay man or a producer with Chinese or Romanian-born parents. The range of preferences may represent intellectual and sympathetic limitations or a conscious choice of emphasis, but those choices are not necessarily signs of moral corruption.

  • DP | June 18, 2011 8:06 AMReply

    As for you, mike newman - or ekim namwen, if you insist - this is 2011, dude; you need to get with the programme.

  • DP | June 18, 2011 7:57 AMReply

    doghouse, you're right about the class divide, to an extent. But you are dead wrong about the panel being "an accurate racial/gender representation of people actually making indie films today".

    In fact, your comment demonstrates perfectly why this panel is so damaging - it helps to perpetuate ignorant misconceptions like this. In fact, if you go to the post here: http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/archives/whats_wrong_with_this_picture/ you will see that most of your arguments have been addressed in the comments. There is a one from Christine, who runs a film festival. She reckons the percentage of male to female submissions is 60/40.

    Also, towards the bottom of that page, someone went to the trouble of finding out the resumés of the men on the panel - three of them have never even directed a feature. So, when you say, "Panels devoted to people who haven’t actually made movies, or have a high opinion of themselves but no movies to speak of," … that's kind of funny, don't you think?

    There is also a comment from a new york director, Victoria Mahoney, who was the first American woman in 60 years to be invited into the main competition at the Berlin Film Festival; other comments detail further award-winning NY women film directors, if you care to look. I believe one of them won the Grand Jury prize at Slamdance this year.

    Your argument is not based on facts, but is pure opinion; and your opinion are out of date. But it is a sad reminder of why panels like this are so important - because they shape people's perception of reality. This panel was a distorted version of reality, and it damages everyone - filmmakers and audiences, who may never get to hear about some of the amazing work being produced out there.

  • doghouse | June 18, 2011 4:29 AMReply

    No need to shout "racism!, or gender or orientation-based discrimination, when a much simpler explanation is available.

    Even forgetting the direct advantages of nepotism in American life today, the coveted professions in the U.S. are overwhelmingly dominated by children of privilege, and we're perfectly happy as a society concentrating our wealth among the top 10% of population, to the exclusion of the remaining 90%.

    When life is organized in this way, it means (for example) that there will be no free higher education and no arts funding -- that would require too much sacrifice from the top 1% and the top .1%. Who makes movies under those conditions? It's pretty simple: those who don't have to pay for their own education, who don't have to work for a serious living, who can afford to take financial/career risks, and who have access to money and people with money.

    If the sample at this panel seemed offensively selective, it's still an accurate racial/gender representation of people actually making indie films today -- the stuff that gets out, and gets seen. Panels devoted to people who haven't actually made movies, or have a high opinion of themselves but no movies to speak of, would not be well-attended.

    There are lots of unkind things one could say about indie film and the people who run it, but spare them this much. They're not active racists or sexists.

    Where's Karl Marx when you need him?

  • ekim namwen | June 18, 2011 2:21 AMReply

    ted, you really need an edit function...when i say race, it also applies to gender. any of you women complaining, please stop also.

    what do you complainers expect? every single panel in the world have exactly the same number of women and minorities as caucasian males. that's beyond absurd, not only b/c panels are pointless, but also b/c it shows that you don't understand how life works.

  • ekim namwen | June 18, 2011 2:08 AMReply

    wow, i am amazed at the ignorance of some of these commenters. how about you stop complaining and making excuses about race and lack of diversity and start focusing more on your filmmaking skillset.

    sure, this panel is a joke, but who cares. it's insignificant in the larger scheme of things. if you think race is a barrier in modern indie film, then you are delusional. i'm young and white and i have never been handed anything on a silver platter. i definitely don't have it easier b/c of my race. in fact i think i have a harder time b/c i'm white. take a look around at all the grants and funding opportunities available in indie film and you will notice that a majority [or so it seems] of them ONLY apply to minorities. so those of you playing the race card please shut up.

    also, more diversity is not necessarily inherently better than lack of diversity. there's a lot of filmmakers of color that are incredibly untalented and get a lot of attention. they clearly don't deserve the attention they get but b/c of their diversity they get thrust into the front of the line. diversity for the sake of diversity is ignorant.

  • psycho nappy | June 17, 2011 3:58 AMReply

    They look a lot like the old faces in indie cinema. Laughs.

    This absurd panel is completely unsurprising to me. I’ve seen these in the ‘90s, the ‘00s and they still exist in 2011. For years I’ve admired Ted Hope’s risk-taking. HAPPINESS, to be quite honest, is the film that made me realize I was a filmmaker all along. I couldn’t believe there was another writer/director who thought the way I did. One who had the nerve to make a film out the horrible wretchedness of humanity. I don’t often feel at home in the world. There are just a handful of moments really made for me. HAPPINESS was one of them. Thank you Todd Solondz and thank you Ted Hope.

    But that was then. In 1998. My infancy as an indie filmmaker hoodwinked me into believing producers like Ted Hope actually recognized and understood the nature of talent, subversiveness, originality, and a sincerity in wanting to bring a new story to life. Too bad he can only recognize it in the bland vanilla staple of indie cinema – the stereotypical young, unaffected white male.

    I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. The creative communities, especially in NYC, are often racist, but ironically believe themselves to be super-enlightened…in all their chuckling at Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck and all. Yet the Republican Party is way more diverse than indie cinema in New York City. Ted Hope, I want you to explain to me why this is.

    Since you apparently don’t know many people outside of your white-bread circle, let me introduce myself. My name is Michelle Lewis. I’m working on a film called SPINSTER  www.psychonappy.wordpress.com My first feature-film. I’m 44 years old. I’m black. I’m female. And I never get the help, the money, or assistance to do anything. I basically have to make the film on my own. Sorry, I can’t help but think that if I were a young, white male making the same film, I’d suddenly have access.

    For a long time I was waiting until I had that access and help and money, so I could make the film exactly as I envisioned it. It took me all this time to realize that it’s more important to make any film. So, yep, I’m the writer/director, but I’m also the craft services lady, the focus puller, my own production assistant…but it gives me great joy knowing that when I’m done, I will have made a feature that offers an alternative to all mayonnaise-y bullshit peddled as new faces in indie cinema.

  • William Wright | June 16, 2011 7:59 AMReply

    @DP

    "New Faces" in this business has always been code for "commercially viable filmmakers who have attracted commercial attention." "New Faces" has never been code for "great filmmakers nobody has ever heard of" or "brilliant minds working outside accepted commercial traditions", or "filmmakers who fail or refuse to appeal to the mainstream".

    Of the 11 participants, 6 are currently working for Fox, Scott Rudin or HBO. One production company alone counted for 4 of the participants. Don't know about the remaining 5, but you get the idea.

    What anyone expects to learn from these panels is a continuing mystery, but the sentiments these panels attempt to exploit are not mysterious.

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | June 15, 2011 8:04 AMReply

    New facebook group, inspired by the lack of diversity in the FSLC panel event & many similar situations, called Diversity In Independent Film: http://tinyurl.com/42dmqrx. All who are interested in greater diversity & inclusion in all areas of independent film are welcome to join, participate, & help make things generally more awesome :) Thanks.

    - S

  • DP | June 15, 2011 7:22 AMReply

    @William Wright

    "The stated purpose of this panel was to seat current 20-something celebrities of the local indie scene in one room"

    Can you please reference where that was stated? Because I have not seen that offered as a criteria by anyone involved.

  • William Wright | June 15, 2011 7:13 AMReply

    The stated purpose of this panel was to seat current 20-something celebrities of the local indie scene in one room. Their films were not screened or even mentioned by name in the promotional material. The subject was the fame or notoriety of the participants, and Ted's first question was on that very question. Diversity on the panel, to reflect a diversity of success which doesn't actually exist, would have been a lie.

    Blame the indie establishment for its interest in the movies made by hip young white males, blame American society for the unequal distribution of opportunity, or blame FSLC for mounting this celebrity farce in the first place. But you can't fault FLSC for being true to the announced subject of the panel.

    Besides, this is the business you've chosen. Extraordinary rewards and opportunities have always gone to persons in the movie business, including the indie movie business, who don't, on any sane scale of measurement, begin to deserve them. If only visionaries and masters of the medium succeeded, lots of people would live to regret it.

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | June 15, 2011 4:51 AMReply

    In 2007 (fairly certain that was the year) IFC Center programmed the Generation DIY festival - I think it ran for 2 weeks - & I believe all the films featured (about a dozen) were directed by "white" male filmmakers (maybe there was 1 that was directed by a female filmmaker). [btw, Most of the films were forgettable, yet the high profile of the event, plus the ensuing press - such as NYTimes, etc - led to several of those directors having productive careers thus far - getting institutional, press, & financial support - many of them are receiving Hollywood level support now]. And in 2011 we have pretty much the same thing happening w/ the New Faces of NYC Indie Film panel/FSLC - no minority presence, only a token female presence. So, obviously, the existing indie film institutions in NYC & activist personalities such as Ted Hope are not adequate enough to persistently keep a high level of visibility for at least NYC based minority & female indie filmmakers (should be an easy task for the existing institutions & insiders, NYC has a lot of female & minority indie filmmakers, but apparently not). So all this points to an unpleaseant (to some) reality - a new organization or organizations will need to be created, tons of work will have to be put in, to raise the profiles of minority & female indie filmmakers, & to keep that work going on a regular, year in year out, basis until the indie film scene is intergrated (until orgs such as FSLC & IFC Center, etc find it very absurd that panels & programming are kept all-"white" in a city with hundreds, maybe thousands, of filmmakers from diverse backgrounds). So who wants to sign up to do this work? :)

    We need, at least in NYC (where this would be easier to do, i think, than in most other places), an organization that consistently champions diversity in indie film - ethnic diversity, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Also an org that assists minority & female filmmakers (& also white male filmmakers who use diverse casting & crews, & are concerned w/ the issue)develop filmmaking careers.

    Like I hinted, it will be a TON of work. But, w/out it, we will probably be having this very same conversation in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, etc.

    - S

  • shelly wilson | June 14, 2011 10:09 AMReply

    I hope this sparks some thought and maybe some people start to realize how hard it is for a filmmaker who isn't for example young, male, straight, white, rich, and/or already an indie film darling to see this kind of thing happen.
    And it's not rare. It happens all the time. Just look through any year's Sundance catalogue to see how mediocre your film can be and still get in if you fit the above criteria.
    Now I understand the casting for new teams thing I suppose, but there is no deep secret behind "teams" such as these that needs to be delved into. These teams aren't because of some kind of deep creative vision in most of these cases. They are kids who went to Dalton/some other prep school together, or kids who went to NYU/some other film school together, or in one case kids who went to GW together, or in another case brothers. They should be explored as teams in the future if any of the teams last 10 more years. What they are now is young, photogenic, and hip. The kind of people film press and older indie producers have been fawning over forever.
    None of this is surprising or new. But the people who have been brave enough to point it out in so many places is what is new. And let's not stop pointing this stuff out when it happens. That's the only way this kind of thing will change. And then people will give an iota of thought before they program a panel like this again. This has turned into panel-gate in some quarters.

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | June 14, 2011 4:50 AMReply

    Two other places on the web where this topic - the panel, lack of diversity - is being discussed:

    - FSLC's Facebook page (or at least one of them): https://www.facebook.com/filmsocietyoflincolncenter/posts/110355039055632

    - new post at Women & Hollywood blog:
    http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/archives/whats_wrong_with_this_picture/

    - S

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | June 12, 2011 7:52 AMReply

    Copy of e-mail sent to available addresses that might be useful (though indirect, no direct addresses for event suggestions were available on their site) in having Film Center host a panel discussion re: minority filmmakers in NYC:

    "Sujewa Ekanayake to filminfo, members, patrons, editor
    show details 3:38 PM (0 minutes ago)


    Dear Film Center/Film Society of Lincoln Center,

    I am a New York City (Brooklyn) based independent filmmaker & blogger (see details below my signature) and I enjoyed watching (live on web) the New Faces of NYC Indie Film panel discussion moderated by Ted Hope (http://blogs.indiewire.com/tedhope/archives/your_second_chance_new_faces_of_nyc_indie_film_video/) at Film Center yesterday. Since that panel discussion, and also many other indie film panel discussions that take place in New York City, did not feature many non-"white" filmmakers, and since there are, and have been for decades, many non-"white" indie filmmakers active in New York City & rest of the US, I think it would be beneficial to many (you, the American film scene in general, the filmmakers themselves) if the Film Center hosted a panel discussion (or several) featuring new (& maybe old) minority/non-"white" filmmakers. Of course this discussion does not have to be a totally segregated event as many such panel events are - the discussion can also feature "white" filmmakers who care about the issue of diversity in indie film & have actively worked to improve the situation. I am volunteering my time & work to help organize a panel discussion at Film Center that features a significant number of non-"white" filmmakers in NYC. Thank you, & I look forward to hearing your thoughts about this event suggestion as soon as it is possible for you to do so.

    Sujewa Ekanayake
    Director - Brooklyn Fantastic, Indie Film Blogger Road Trip, Date Number One, Capital Heartbreak & Sweetness: 17 DC Poets, Wild Diner, Fresh Coffee
    Blogger - DIY Filmmaker (http://diyfilmmaker.blogspot.com)
    e-mail: wilddiner@gmail.com
    cell: xxx-xxx-xxxx

    P.S: I personally do not believe in race theory or in its most popular form at the moment in US - dividing individuals into different camps based on physical features such as skin color, etc. However, by people who do believe in race theory, I am classified as non-"white". Since contemporary US is still holding on to the ideas of races (an invention of the age of discovery - about 500 years ago), divisions created by slavery in the US, then segregation, then ideas highlighted by WWII ear Germany, even though it does not benefit us to do so, & since these beliefs so thoroughly permeate all layers (or at least most) of life in the US, even a non-believer in race theory such as myself cannot avoid dealing with the fact that most people believe in race theory, and act accordingly, often producing negative results. The area of creation & consumption of mass entertainment, under which indie film falls, is a good area as any in American life to continue to deal w/ negative effects of race theory. Thus, a panel discussion featuring non'"white" filmmakers would also make a contribution to the overall/global & national, on-going, discussion about race, race theory, etc. Which, to me, sounds like an ideal project for a significant cultural institution such as the Lincoln Center."

    - S

  • jkr | June 12, 2011 7:04 AMReply

    The Film Society is not actively interested in promoting indie film, local or national, and you won't find indies on FS screens, beyond IFP screenings and the obligatory Sundance entries programmed at New Directors.

    It's a surprise they even held this panel. Look elsewhere for the corrective, for whatever the correct is worth.

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | June 12, 2011 6:43 AMReply

    Unfortunately the Film Society of Lincoln Center's site does not make it easy for someone who is not already in contact with the decision makers there to get in touch w/ them to suggest a new program/event - as no direct e-mail is given for Exec Director, Progrmng Director, Dirctr of Dgtl Strtgs, etc. Still, will send the "volunteer to organize a diverse indie filmmaking in NYC" panel info (see related comments of mine below) to the general Contact Us e-mails there, & will see what, if anything, happens.

    - S

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | June 12, 2011 6:32 AMReply

    One correction, that blog I mentioned 2 comments ago is not Women In Film, but Women and Hollywood (sorry about that, still waking up :)

    - S

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | June 12, 2011 6:27 AMReply

    And, to follow up re: what I wrote below, I'll volunteer some time & work to help organize a panel discussion featuring new & diverse indie filmmakers in NYC at Film Center. But since I do not personally know anyone at Lincoln Center/Film Center (or do I?, maybe one person, or wait, maybe two people - i know them lightly) perhaps you can forward the info to Film Center folks Ted. Will also try to contact them on my own.

    - S

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | June 12, 2011 6:10 AMReply

    Even though my usual complaint of lack of minority filmmakers in these indie events (been saying it since 2006 :) apply to the panel discussion yesterday, it was nevertheless educational & entertaining (the working for HBO stuff was very interesting, for exmpl). Perhaps Ted (or another moderator, maybe that producer of Exploding Girl? what's her name? will have to research) will do another (or several) panels & other promo events at Film Center re: the many different faces of indie film in NYC. As this was probably a volunteer effort, it was probably easier to go w/ people that were in Ted's social or work circles for this maybe last minute organized event. For interested people, re: a more diverse indie film scene in NYC & elsewhere - check out posts on AsianAmericanFilm.com, also now indiewire's own Shadow & Act, also from time to time at my blog diyfilmmaker.blogspot.com, & another of indiewire's blogs - Women In Film, and probably at dozens of other places on the web - including Filmmaker Magazine's blog, Ted's own Hammer to Nail, etc. So, in conclusion, not bad for the first go at a NYC indie film panel discussion at the brand new Film Center - but hopefully in the future the Film Center spotlight will fall on more indie filmmakers in this most diverse & multi-colored of cities in the world, also a city filled with indie filmmaker (can't go two blocks in my nghbrhood in Brooklyn w/ out running into 2 or 3 indie filmmakers :).

    - S

  • shelly wilson | June 12, 2011 4:49 AMReply

    Having only one woman isn't the only issue. Where are the people of color? Where are the LGBT filmmakers? The indie film community doesn't entirely consist of 20-something children of privilege.

  • kaz phillips safer | June 12, 2011 3:01 AMReply

    kind of a bummer to see only one woman up there. where's ry russo young? where's sophia takal? where's reed morano? come on lincoln center, it's 2011 already.

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