Peter Bowen

Peter Bowen is the editorial director of Film in Focus, a website for grown-up movie lovers with intelligent and thoughtful critiques and criticism. Film in Focus is a venture of Focus Features. Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com) is a motion picture production, financing, and worldwide distribution company committed to bringing moviegoers the most original stories from the world's most innovative filmmakers.

Columbia Day

Article: Columbia Day

While UCLA and NYU have traditionally been the powerhouse film schools, this seventeen films at Sundance were made by either Columbia University [wwwapp.cc.columbia.edu] Students or Alumni. In The Hollywood Reporter [www.hollywoodreporter.com], programmer Trevor Groth pointed out that the eight Columbia short films make up about 10% of the Shorts program…

Games People Play

Article: Games People Play

While the festival has been running a new media center for the last years, the newest incarnation, New Frontier on Main, moves initiative to integrate worlds of technology, art and cinema to a new level. For programmer Shari Frilot, “There are more artists in the gallery and museum world dealing with the moving image, and we wanted to create a space that that could speak both to a film audience and the art world.” New Frontier on Main houses three galleries, a D.J. installation lounge, and a 100 seat microcinema. “We wanted it to be fully immersive,” recounts Frilot. “So there is no overhead lighting. And we wanted the programming play like a festival in a festival.”

Scandal Sheet

Article: Scandal Sheet

Via daily.greencine.com [daily.greencine.com] Greencine, Christopher Smart at The Salt Lake Tribune [www.sltrib.com] reported on the crackdown of prostitution in Park City. Elsewhere Anne Thompson reports on the Catholic League President Bill Donohue calling for a federal investigation into whether Deborah Kampmeier’s Dramatic Competition film HOUNDDOG broke federal child pornography laws. The southern gothic tale involves a 12-year-old Dakota Fanning playing a girl who is raped by an older boy. In fact the situation has grown into a culture war battleground as a petition site [www.thepetitionsite.com] has emerged for people to follow the discussion and throw their support to the filmmakers.

Five Things To Know Before Coming To Sundance (plus Five): Wash Wetmoreland And Richard Glatzer

Article: Five Things To Know Before Coming To Sundance (plus Five): Wash Wetmoreland And Richard Glatzer

Filmmaking duo Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer show up last year to Sundance with thier low-budget no-star “kitchen sink” drama QUINCEANERA. They left winning both Grand Jury prize and Audience Award. Now we can learn from their experience.

Read more after the jump…

Chaos Theory

Article: Chaos Theory

As much as people keep talking about the heart, soul, and spirit of the filmmaker, when push comes to shove, the festival runs on its Ethernet. This was made abundantly clear when the beleaguered festival publicity department faced off with frustrated press who could not get their press passes when the computers went down. The cruel irony of this was not wasted on Filmmaker Magazine editor Scott Macaulay [www.filmmakermagazine.com].

Buy My Shorts!

Article: Buy My Shorts!

This year, the citizens of cyberspace will have it one up on those of us actually attending the Festival. Not only will they be able to stream (for free) the same shorts we pay money to see, but they will able to buy short films if the spirit moves them. Starting on January 22, you can click on iTunes, plunk down $1.99, and download a short to play on your computer or ipod. For the more frugal, go to Sundance Festival [www.sundance.tv] site, and then click on “Watch” page.

Five Things To Know Before Coming To Sundance

Article: Five Things To Know Before Coming To Sundance

Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden’s feature HALF NELSON was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Picked up by Think Films, HALF NELSON has proved to be a critical break though in 2006. In addition to being nominated by for a number of awards, the film won the Best film, and Ryan Fleck was present the “Breakthrough Director Award,” at this year’s Gotham Awards [www.ifp.org]. Ryan and Anna offer their remembrances, and suggestions, for attending Sundance.

Welcome To Sundance 2007

Article: Welcome To Sundance 2007

On Jan 18, the Sundance Film Festival kicks off for another 10 days of packed parties, tragic fashion, smoke-filled business deals, overpriced restaurants, sightings of Paris Hilton, and, oh yes, films This year offers one of the most ambitious slates in recent years. Geoffrey Gilmore, Director, Sundance Film Festival highlights that “in this year’s Festival there is a breadth of subject matter, vision and innovative storytelling that is transforming the old idea of the American indie film.” (In Variety [www.variety.com], Gilmore went on to define that diversity.)