March 2014

Which New Indie Actress Will Become the Biggest Star in Years Ahead?

The indie film world is already building a list of excellent actresses that could make them the next indie superstars within the next few years. With independent film shaping up to be the sole place lately for real Oscar potential, these actresses may be seen at the Oscar podium more often in the future. They may also be the rare example of keeping one foot mostly in the indie film world so they can keep doing quality projects and enjoying Oscar nominations.
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“Nebraska” Is Building Oscar Buzz

In a crowded film industry that is filled with big, loud action movies and sappy, heartless romantic comedies, when a truly well written and emotional movie comes to the forefront, it truly is something special. That has happened with a few great movies this year, including “Her,” “12 Years A Slave” and the like, but none are more remarkable that Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska.” The film, which stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb and Bob Odenkirk, takes a step back from the fast paced editing of today’s films and delivers an endearing story that has earned it numerous Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Dern.

This type of movie is nothing new to Payne, who has released films like Sideways and The Descendents in the past few years. The way he handles it, however, is what is truly interesting. He has significantly slowed the pace down even from his other films, and the entire movie is shot in black and white. While it may seem like a stunt, the choice to use black and white highlights the bleakness of the central character’s lives and how any energy or vitality has gone away years ago.

Payne also gets amazing performances from his lead actors, most notably Will Forte and Bob Odenkirk, who tend to deal more in comedies than dramas. They show they can hang with the best of them in this film, and their acting shines through the entire time.

The film is worth a watch, certainly before the Oscars, as it will have you rooting for them to take home the big prize. To learn more about all things indie film related, please contact www.indiefilmfunding.com.

Is Cassian Elwes the Savviest Indie Film Producer for Fundraising?

When you think of a truly great indie film producer, can you think of any names known in every household? Other than the indie distribution and promotional mastery of Harvey Weinstein, you may not readily know the name of any indie film producer working today. Only the big names from the mainstream studios may be your only chance at any recognition. But one name may start to become better known as he continually becomes the most ubiquitous presence in the indie film world.

If you’ve never heard of the name Cassian Elwes, the last name might sound a little familiar. That’s because this producer is the brother of the actor Cary Elwes, best known as the star of the 1980s classic “The Princess Bride.” Cassian Elwes may eventually be as well known as his brother, and he already is within indie film circles.

The reason is he’s produced some of the highest regarded indie films of recent years. He’s had a banner year this last year by producing “The Butler”, “Dallas Buyers Club”, and “All is Lost” as just a few. After about 30 years, he’s become the go-to producer in helping fund projects that go on to win awards and actually find an audience.

What’s most notable, though, is his approach to funding. In an interview with CNN Money from early January of this year, he showed how complicated it can be funding indie film.

Cassian Elwes’s Approach to Film Funding

One reason why Elwes is so trusted in the industry is because he knows how to plan the funding for an indie movie. In the above interview, he points out that mainstream studios gamble too much putting hundreds of millions of dollars in for the hope of supporting their ancillary businesses. Many of those gambles mean the loss of major money.

With indie film, he says that planning is much easier with more limited budgets. He can get a better estimation of how much money an indie film might cost to make or its box office potential based on past models. Going by prior revenues, foreign pre-sales, and tax write-offs, he doesn’t scare any investors away with smart projections.

He also started an investment fund called Lifeboat that helps loan out money to indie films still waiting for their own loans to complete. It helps save time and gets the film done without sitting and waiting until loans are approved.

In his interview, he particularly notes how outside investors are starting to become a major factor in getting indie films made. It’s that fact and Elwes’s smart financing tactics every indie filmmaker can potentially learn from. However, Elwes makes nothing known about the positive developments of crowd funding.

From a different perspective, outside funding is already a form of crowd funding. And no doubt many of those outsiders will be scanning the web looking for good indie films they can help bring to the screen.

The overall better picture for indie film financing should give you incentive to join us here at Indie Film Funding, Inc. once we go live. We’ll be one of the few sole Internet sources devoted to helping fund nothing but independent films.

Contact us about how you can get involved. Perhaps Cassian Elwes himself will find your film here someday. He or someone else of influence can potentially turn your dream film into a reality.

The Athena Film Fest in New York City: Female Lead Indie Films You Might Have Missed

Indie film continues to thrive through the countless film festivals devoted to the independent frame of mind. But with concern still brewing about the lack of women in the filmmaking industry, it’s worth your while to go support the Athena Film Festival located in New York City at Barnard College from February 6-9. This year, they’ll be screening some excellent indie films starring and made by the best female filmmaking talent out there. A few titles being screened may be known in every household (yes, “Frozen”), yet others are still in need of much deserved larger audiences.

“Belle”

This film will kick off the Athena screenings, and it’s one certainly deserving based on the content. You could say it’s a good complement to “12 Years a Slave”, despite having a different approach to race issues. Nevertheless, it’s about the problems of mixed race and dealing with being the daughter of an aristocrat. In this case, it’s about the mixed race daughter of 18th century British Admiral Sir John Lindsay.

In the film, a new star is born in Gugu Mbatha-Raw who plays Dido Elizabeth Belle, the daughter of Lindsay. It’s an important historical tale about the role Belle took in convincing her father to abolish slavery, even if it had to be behind the scenes.

“Decoding Annie Parker”

There haven’t been enough films about breast cancer and the impact its having on the lives of everyone around the world. This film delves into a real story about Dr. Mary-Claire King who helped discover the genetic link to breast cancer. Her life intersects with a woman named Annie Parker who became the first patient that King examined to find the breast cancer gene.

It’s a fascinating recent history portrait that every person should see, no matter your gender. So far, it’s received a small audience, though proves how many real-life past stories are still out there that movies need to tell. That’s helped along here with the supreme talents of Samantha Horton and Helen Hunt.

“Short Term 12″

Many critics cited this film as one of the best films of 2013, despite not getting much award notice. Forbes even bristled at the Oscars not nominating it for best picture. The reason is because the film is brilliant on all fronts, despite being directed by a man (Destin Daniel Cretton). However, the leads are all women and provide some very deep insights into the neglected topic of helping at-risk youth at a foster care facility.

Stars Brie Larson and Kaitlyn Dever are excellent, and their characters cross paths in a way that will knock you over. This film deserves a bigger audience, and it should be your only choice at Athena if you see no other film.

These important indie projects couldn’t have been made without the proper funding. It’s possible you’re a female filmmaker who’s struggling to find financing for an important indie film that could make a significant impact on society. We want to help you find that funding here at Indie Film Funding, Inc. When we go live, we’ll be an exclusive place where crowd funding will help indie film ideas finally get realized.

Contact us to find out how you can be involved. Especially for female filmmakers, we want to help you make the inequality divide a thing of the past.