g The Film Panel Notetaker: August 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Notes will be taken in the near "future" at this panel in Woodstock

How are these for topics at a panel discussion? Artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and genetic engineering? Bring it on! I predict that either Erin or myself will be taking notes at this very cool panel called Redesigning Humanity - The New Frontier during the 1oth Anniversary of the Woodstock Film Festival. Read more about this fascinating panel below (from the WFF press release that came out today).


(Woodstock, NY) August 26, 2009: The 10TH Anniversary Woodstock Film Festival boldly goes where it has never gone before with an unprecedented focus on ethics and the rapidly developing field of artificial intelligence and transhumanism.

With two futuristic narrative premieres and intellectually star-studded panels exploring radical new technologies, this years "fiercely independent" festival offers rare insight into the not-so-futuristic world of artificial intelligence, technohumanity, and other bio-technologies, which could become the norm within the next fifty years.

"We are thrilled to spotlight the future explorations of men and machine in this year's festival," stated Meira Blaustein, co-founder and executive director of the Woodstock Film Festival. "In a year where we celebrate the mark of our 10th anniversary and we all stand at the eve of a new decade, setting an eye into our future is not only our privilege, but a necessity."

2B, directed by Richard Kroehling, is a World Premiere future narrative film portraying a decaying world on the cusp of great transformation. Based upon real science and evolving technologies, 2B's script brings to life the 'technohuman' conundrum. Designed to confront the most controversial topic of the 21st century, 2B explores moral and religious questions raised by the biotech revolution, forcing its audience to deeply question their definitions of life itself.

Partnered with the Syfy Channel, WFF will also present the feature length pilot of Syfy's upcoming, hotly anticipated new series Caprica. The film is presented in connection with a Syfy Screenwriting Panel, pertaining to future narrative writing and other different genres of screenwriting as well.

From the mind of Battlestar Executive Producer, Ronald Moore comes Caprica. Humanity's storyline takes completely new twists in Caprica as two rival family patriarchs, Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz) and Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) compete and thrive in the vibrant realm of the twelve Colonies, a society recognizably close to our own. This original, stand-alone series will feature the passion, intrigue, political backbiting, and family conflict alive and well in an omnipotent society that is, even at the height of its blind power and glory, unknowingly on the brink of its fall.

Designed to accompany the issues raised by 2B and Caprica, the Woodstock Film Festival engages the future head-on with the presentation of a ground-breaking panel, Redesigning Humanity - The New Frontier: If artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and other technologies will, within the next 50 years, allow human beings to transcend the limitations of the body, how will our world fundamentally change under those conditions?

Moderated by Dr. James J. Hughes, Executive Director of the Institute for Emerging Ethics and Technologies and bioethicist at Trinity College, this revolutionary panel features futurist Raymond Kurzweil, the author of four best selling novels, and an inventor responsible for many breakthroughs in biotechnological fields; Dr. Martine Rothblatt, lawyer, author and entrepreneur, responsible for several satellite technology companies, along with Terasem Media and Films, which produces independent narrative and documentary films that deal with biotechnologies; and author Wendell Wallach, regarded as one of forefront thinkers in the field of Machine Ethics who, after co-authoring Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong, is working on a new book examining what humans might become through emerging technologies.
The full 10th Anniversary Woodstock Film Festival line-up of films, panels and events, will be announced in early September.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Go Up On the Roof This September During Independent Film Week

I wanted to alert you to two new documentaries that will be screening at Rooftop Films in September during IFP's Independent Film Week in New York. First on Sept. 12 is David Teague's Intifada NYC, and second on Sept. 19 is Cambria Matlow's and Morgan Robinson's Burning in the Sun. I have been eagerly awaiting to see both of these films for some time now.

In February, I had the pleasure of moderating the Docuclub Q&A for David's film Our House, which he co-directed with Greg King. David told me about his film there, and he has since then screened it to a sold out crowd at DCTV.

And at Independent Film Week in 2008, I met Ronen Landa, the composer of Burning in the Sun. Since then, I've been working with Ronen on promoting his debut CD, Picturebooks, which is now available on iTunes, Amazon.com, and CDBaby.com.

About Intifada NYC:
The opening of the United States’ first Arabic language public school provoked a firestorm of allegations that the school would teach radical Islam or even produce terrorists. As critics and the mainstream media stoked the flames in the climate of post-9/11 America, the controversy forced the school’s Arab-American Muslim principal from her job. “Intifada NYC” follows the principal’s struggle to get her job back, the outcry against the school, and the debate provoked about tolerance and freedom of speech. The film combines exclusive interviews and vérité with graphic novel-style drawings, while the original score mixes classical, jazz, and Middle Eastern styles.

When: Saturday, September 12, 8pm
Venue: On the roof of the Old American Can Factory
Address: 232 3rd St. @ 3rd Ave. (Gowanus/ Park Slope, Brooklyn)
Directions: F/G to Carroll St. or M/R to Union Ave.
Rain: In the event of rain the show will be held indoors at the same location
8:00PM: Doors open
8:30PM: Sound Fix presents live music
9:00PM: Films
11:00PM–12:30AM: Reception in courtyard including free sangria courtesy of Carlo Rossi sangria
Tickets: $9-$25 at the door or online

About Burning in the Sun:
26-year-old charmer Daniel Dembele is equal parts West African and European, and looking to make his mark on the world. A chance encounter while managing a café in Europe convinces him to return to his homeland in Mali and start a local business building solar panels—the first of its kind in the sun drenched nation. Daniel's goal is to electrify the households of rural communities, 99% of which live without power. Burning in the Sun tells the story of Daniel’s journey growing the shaky startup into a viable company, and of the business’ impact on Daniel’s first customers in the tiny village of Banko. Taking controversial stances on climate change, poverty, and African self-sufficiency, the film explores what it means to grow up as a man, and what it takes to prosper as a nation.

See Burning in the Sun at ROOFTOP FILMS
Venue: on the pier at Solar One
Address: 23rd Street @ the East River (Kips Bay, Manhattan)
Directions: R/6 to 23rd St., walk all the way east.
Rain: In the event of rain the show will be held under tents at the same location. Bring an umbrella, too.
8:00PM: Doors open
8:30PM: Sound Fix presents live music
9:00PM: Films
11:00PM–12:30AM: Reception including free Radeberger Pilsner
Admission: No charge

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Please Vote For My SXSW 2010 Panel

    Hello Everyone,

I covered the 2009 South By Southwest Film Festival as well as this year's Rochester High Falls International Film Festival for TFPN. Recently, I submitted an idea for a panel to SXSW for the 2010 festival titled "Don't Quit Your Day Job".

My panel will cover how Filmmakers balance their film making with their "day jobs". How do you balance work with filmmaking? How do you negotiate time off? How important is your job situation to fostering creativity? I won't disclose who I'm considering for the panel (I haven't approached anyone), but I'm looking into people who work in a wide variety of employment situations, including teaching, private sector work (office, customer service, etc.), health care, freelancers, and people who work in film and television.

To vote for my panel, please click here.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

IndieGoGo and SnagFilms Join Forces To Give Documentary Filmmakers More Filmanthropy Opportunities

IndieGoGo, which houses The Film Panel Notetaker, as a resource, made the following announcement today about its new partnership with SnagFilms. Check it out!

IndieGoGo and SnagFilms Join Forces To Give Documentary Filmmakers More Filmanthropy Opportunities

Berkeley, California, August 3, 2009 – Indiegogo.com, the most trafficked website for film funding,announced today a partnership with SnagFilms, the online documentary film site, to give documentaryfilmmakers access to more fundraising and exposure opportunities.
Starting in mid-July, select IndieGoGo works-in-progress have been featured on SnagFilms. Inauguralworks include:

• Connected - by Tiffany Shlain- Connected takes audiences on a stream-of-consciousness ridethrough the interconnectedness of humankind.• Pelotero – by Jon Paley - A Dominican baseball story• Tapestries of Hope – by Michaelene Christini Risly - Two activists from two corners of theworld take on a government and an urban myth to protect young girls from rape and abuse.

“SnagFilms gives documentary filmmakers an opportunity to be discovered”, said Slava Rubin,Founder of IndieGoGo. “We want to give filmmakers the tools and access they need to be successfuland Snag Films shares the vision of DIWO (Do-It-With-Others) filmmaking.”

Since launching the partnership, IndieGoGo works-in-progress have been promoted on SnagFilms andits promotional partner sites, resulting in over half a million impressions.

SnagFilms already has a library of more than 840 documentary films including many award winnersand festival favorites. “At SnagFilms we strive to bring the best documentaries to the largest globalaudience online and to support independent filmmakers and the causes their films highlight,” saidStephanie Sharis, Executive Vice President, SnagFilms. “Partnering with an innovative company likeIndieGoGo to distribute works-in-progress gives our documentary fans the chance to discover andsupport these promising projects.”

Interested filmmakers can get their work featured by sending a note to info@IndieGoGo.com

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