Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Party Time Independent Lens Style - Plus Julie-Zooey-John News

(l to r) Doug Blush, Lois Vossen, Paul Mariano and Christine O'Malley.
These Amazing Shadows will have a national broadcast on the PBS series, Independent Lens on Thursday, December 29th at 10:00 pm.

We had a blast at the Independent Lens (IL) season 10 launch party at Monty in Los Angeles last week. The series producer, Lois Vossen, really made us feel welcome and part of the IL family. Monty is a cool-hip bar in downtown Los Angeles and was jammed full of IL staff, IL alum filmmakers, members of the LA doc community and a live performance by The Bricks. The music was loud, drinks were flowing and the food pretty darn healthy and tasty. It was one of those parties that with the loud music you had to really lean into the person you were talking with and listen/focus carefully in order to hear anything - which leads to a kind of fun intimate conversation that you don't often get in everyday life.

TAS producer Christine O'Malley and International Documentary Association president Eddie Schmidt.
Paul and I were joined at the soiree by TAS producer Christine O'Malley and TAS editor Doug Blush. Christine and her husband, Patrick Creadon, previously had their doc, Wordplay, broadcast on Independent Lens in 2007. Doug was the editor on that show, so he and Christine felt right at home hobnobbing with all the film folk. It was Paul and I who felt like fish out of water as we have little experience with attending "launch parties." The IL staff made us feel really comfortable. They are really quite a talented and fun bunch (see below).

IL Staff: (l to r) Krissy Bailey, Voleine Amilcar, Lois Vossen, Dennis Palmieri, Richard O'Connell, Desiree Gutierrez.
The only difficulty of the evening was that IL asked us to say a few words about our doc to the crowd. As Paul and I divide up this type of responsibility - it was my turn to be the public face of TAS. I am not exactly sure what I said but Paul assured me that I didn't embarrass us. Chris Paine, the filmmaker responsible for Who Killed the Electric Car? also spoke. He is a very nice man and just the kind of person you would imagine that would make a doc about electric cars. He has followed up that doc with a new one called The Revenge of the Electric Car, which will be released theatrically beginning on October 21st. The trailer looks great.

A buffalo head and Lois Vossen look on as Kurt Norton says a few words about TAS, IL and PBS.

- These Amazing Shadows was selected as Best Documentary at Louisville's International Festival of Film. We are honored and appreciate their wonderful taste.

- One of our favorite TAS interview subjects, Julie Dash, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her breakout film, Daughters of the Dust.  Julie is currently developing two projects: a mini series on the little-known 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, which was the only all African American, all female battalion during World War II, made up of 855 women, and a cyber thriller called, Cipher, a story centered on a young African American woman who’s an encryption specialist, who “holds the keys to our digital liberty.”

- Another favorite TAS interview subject and It Girl, Zooey Deschanel, has scored a big hit with her new TV show, The New Girl. It scored remarkable audience numbers making it the first new sitcom in 20 years to win it's first three nights in the highly valued adults 18-49 demographic (why do they call it "adult 18-49." Are there kids that are 18-49?) Unfortunately, due to the vagaries of television programming her show will not be on the air again until early November. So much for letting a show develop it's audience. If only our producer Christine O'Malley was in charge of all TV programming this sort of thing wouldn't happen!

- Yet another favorite TAS interview subject (okay, almost all our interview subjects are our favorite) John Waters is touring Australia (October 19-29) with his one-man show, This Filthy World. It is a vaudeville act covering his unusual obsessions and film career. John says, "I invite Australian moviegoers into my cinematic world to show them radically intelligent and disturbing movies that will push them closer to the edge of cinema insanity."

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