An indie game that aims to preserve an indigenous culture and its mythology

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In recent years, a unique relationship has developed between the world’s most ancient cultures and the newest forms of storytelling. 

Games like Upper One Games Never Alone, for example, popularized the trend by working alongside the native Alaskan Iñupiaq people to preserve and bring global attention to their culture’s stories. 

Mulaka, an indie game from Mexico-based studio Lienzo, is the latest to join this digital preservation effort. A 3D action-adventure puzzle game, it centers around the Tarahumara indigenous culture that live alongside them in Chihuahua, Mexico.

“The initial inspiration for the game began from us just learning more about the Tarahumara culture — reading their amazing legends and myths. And we really fell in love with them,” said writer and programmer Guillermo Vizcaíno when we recently met up at PAX West to play a demo of the game at the Indie Megabooth.  Read more…

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Indie Film Giant Cassian Elwes to Filmmakers: ‘Make the Movie the Way You Want to Make It’

Veteran film producer Cassian Elwes of ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ and ‘Mudbound’ dropped some knowledge at TIFF 2017.

Cassian Elwes is no stranger to the indie film business. In addition to producing over 50 films, he also spent fifteen years as head of William Morris Independent putting together financing deals for independent films. When Elwes began his producing career in 1983 with his first film, Oxford Blues, the theatrical box office was very much alive and well (and for more than just blockbusters).

But it’s 2017, and today, making films is very different than it was 34 years ago (for one thing, film itself is becoming an increasingly rare feature of filmmaking). Still, Elwes is confident in the future of film, and especially indie film, while acknowledging that these movies will take different routes to the audience than they did before. Here are some of Elwes’ most interesting thoughts on the independent film industry and his predictions for its future from his recent presentation at TIFF 2017.

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No Film School

First Trailer for Alien Abduction Indie Horror Film ‘Welcome to Willits’

Welcome to Willits Trailer

“I ain’t sure what they want, but they ain’t nice.” IFC Midnight has unveiled an official trailer for a sci-fi horror film titled Welcome to Willits, which played at various genre film festivals all last year. Set in the woods of Northern California in an off-the-grid town called Willits, a “haven for marijuana growers, meth addicts, and conspiracy theorists”, the story is about a group of teens who get mixed up with a local pot farmer. And then the aliens show up and all hell breaks loose. This is described as a “no-holds-barred pileup of carnage, twisted comedy, and pure crazy.” Let’s hope all of that is true. Starring Bill Sage, Rory Culkin, Anastasia Baranova, Garrett Clayton, and surprisingly enough, Dolph Lundgren. I don’t think I’ve seen a film that mixes drugs and aliens in this way, can’t say it’s going to be a good combination. Watch out. ›››

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Amy Ryan in First Trailer for Indie Film ‘Abundant Acreage Available’

Abundant Acreage Available Trailer

“This is our place – right here, right now.” Gravitas Ventures has revealed an official trailer for the indie drama titled Abundant Acreage Available, which won the Best Screenplay award at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. The film stars Amy Ryan and Terry Kinney as middle-aged brother and sister, who have just finished burying their father in a field on the fifty acre tobacco farm in North Carolina that their family owns. Trouble brews when three brothers, whose family farmed the land for generations, return after 50 years. The cast includes Max Gail, Steve Coulter, and Francis Guinan. I have been a big fan of Amy Ryan ever since Gone Baby Gone, so I’m always interested to watch anything she’s in, especially if she has a lead role. This looks damn good, and it’s easy to see the tough choices the script attempts to address. ›››

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Why The Autumn Film Festival Season Is Important For Indie Filmmakers

The summer rains here in London won’t inspire you to dance – unless of course, you’re working like mad on the launch of the 25th Raindance Film Festival! With the silly season half gone, it’s time to reflect on the autumn film festival season and why it matters to independent filmmakers.

A brief history of the film festival circuit

Raindance frequently gets asked by filmmakers when’s the best time to launch a film. The answer is obvious: When is your film finished.

There are two main cycles of film festivals: Winter and Autumn.

The winter season kicks off with Sundance and Rotterdam Film Festival in mid-January, which overlaps with the Berlinale in Berlin. I always attend and think of Berlinale over Valentines Day. Then the season winds up in spectacular fashion with Cannes Film Festival in May. These are really important film festivals and are used to launch films both small and large. Berlin and Cannes also host major film markets, the European Film Market and the Marche du Film, respectively.

Autumn starts with Venice, San Sebastian, Karlovy Vary, and ends with the Toronto International Film Festival and then Raindance at the beginning and end of September. London Film Festival tails along after Raindance in October.

The Autumn has three film and media markets as well: MIPTV in late September, the Pusan Asian Film Market in October and the American Film Market in Los Angeles in mid-November.

Why is the Autumn film festival season so important?

autumn film festival season

1. It’s the start of the awards season

First and foremost, the Autumn festival circuit is the precursor to the Awards season culminating with the BAFTA and Academy Awards in Februar and March. Films who do well at the Autumn festival seem to have a much better chance of being noticed by selectors and jury members of the different award-giving organisations.

Hype starts with festivals and awards are very hyped

autumn film festival season

2. It’s a great time to get people out to the cinema

With the follies of the summer, everyone is back to work and school. And speaking of school, students are a major target demographic for new releases. It’s the second largest demographic of moviegoers. The largest age demographic of moviegoers is 25-39 – the very people who have had summer holidays and are now back at work.

3. Distributors are looking for content

One of the main reasons filmmakers attend film festivals is to sell their film. Distribution companies hire specialist scouts or acquisition executives to view and acquire new films. These acquisition executives and film buyers scour film festivals on the hunt for new talent and new films. They flock to the major film festivals, both the winter season and the autumn season, where new films get their world premieres.

4. The weather

Ah. The weather. North America is not yet wintry. The UK’s rainy weather has usually passed. Autumn is ideal weather for attending festival screenings without the threat of getting frozen or soaked. And if it is raining, what better way to escape the weather than in a cinema.

5. Ah! Raindance

The autumn film festival season wouldn’t be complete without Raindance. The largest (and longest running) independent film festival in the UK starts on 20 September 2017. Raindance brings arguably the very best on independent film: Shorts, documentaries, features, music videos, web series pilots and Virtual reality experiences to a discerning audience.

See the best new indie films first! Raindance Film Festival 2017 Passes now on sale

The post Why The Autumn Film Festival Season Is Important For Indie Filmmakers appeared first on Raindance.

Raindance

First Trailer for Indie Sci-Fi Film ‘Rememory’ Starring Peter Dinklage

Rememory Trailer

“The machine is incredible!” “Pure, unfiltered truth.” Ready to remember all of your memories? Lionsgate has debuted the official trailer for an indie sci-fi film titled Rememory, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. This is one of a few subtle indie sci-fi films that played at the festival, along with Marjorie Prime and The Discovery. The gimmick in this is a device that can extract, record and play a person’s memories. The inventor is found dead, and his wife retreats into her home until a mysterious man shows up and begins investigating what exactly happened. Peter Dinklage stars, with Julia Ormond, Martin Donovan, Evelyne Brochu, Henry Ian Cusick, and the late Anton Yelchin. The film received pretty bad reviews out of Sundance, and while I am somewhat intrigued, this trailer doesn’t really grab me. ›››

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First Trailer for Indie Comedy ‘The Wilde Wedding’ with Patrick Stewart

The Wilde Wedding Trailer

“You are so thoughtful – as if you’d have any idea what a ‘keeper’ was.” Vertical Entertainment has debuted the first official trailer for an indie comedy titled The Wilde Wedding, about a wedding that gets a bit crazy (if the title wasn’t already an indication of that). The two people getting hitched are played by Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart, a retired film star marrying a renowned English writer. The rest of the “wild” ensemble cast of great actors includes John Malkovich, Minnie Driver, Jack Davenport, Yael Stone, Peter Facinelli, Noah Emmerich, and Grace Van Patten. I’m not sure where this came from, as I’ve never heard of the film before, but it looks entertaining in an awkward dysfunctional comedy way. There’s tons of sexual tension being built up and released in this trailer, so make sure you wear a condom. Have fun. ›››

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Trailer for Indie Comedy ‘Sundowners’ About Wedding Videographers

Sundowners Trailer

“I’ve been drifting for so long, I don’t even remember where I want to go…” This might hit a little close to home for any up-and-coming filmmakers out there who have done this kind of work and felt this way. Sundowners is an indie comedy about two struggling videographers who decide to take a job filming a wedding down in Mexico. But, of course, they run into all kinds of problems after they discover their boss is playing fast and loose. The main cast includes Phil Hanley, Luke Lalonde, Tim Heidecker, Cara Gee, Nick Flanagan, Chris Locke, James Hartnett, and Leah Fay Goldstein. This looks amusing, and a bit depressing, but maybe it’s surprisingly quite good. There’s some impressive match cuts and sleek editing in this trailer. Perhaps it’s some kind of indie gem just waiting to be discovered. Who knows? Take a look. ›››

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FirstShowing.net

Interview: NY Filmmaker Jim Strouse on Making Uplifting Indie Films

Jim Strouse

“You really have to drive your own train and you have to keep it running.” Yes indeed. Meet Jim Strouse. Also known as James C. Strouse. Jim is a filmmaker originally from Indiana, who now lives in New York City. If you don’t recognize his name, hopefully you will recognize his films – Grace Is Gone (in 2007), The Winning Season (in 2009), People Places Things (in 2015), and now this year he has brought us The Incredible Jessica James. Jessica James stars the talented Jessica Williams as Jessica James in an optimistic, engaging story of a struggling playwright in New York. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, like every film Jim has made, and is being released by Netflix – it’s available to watch now. I caught up with Jim at the Sundance Film Festival this year for a chat, and I’m happy to finally present our interview in full. I love his films and I’m glad I had the chance to talk with him out there. ›››

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First Teaser Trailer for Creepy Indie Thriller Film ‘My Friend Dahmer’

My Friend Dahmer Trailer

“I’m just like anybody else…” FilmRise has debuted an official trailer for a creepy new indie thriller titled My Friend Dahmer, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. The film is based on an acclaimed graphic novel and tells the story of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered 17 men and boys in the Midwest United States between 1978 and 1991 before being captured by police. Before he became that killer, though, he was a shy, alcoholic teen who never quite fit in. This is the true, haunting “story before that story” of Dahmer in high school. Ross Lynch plays Dahmer, and the cast includes Anne Heche, Alex Wolff, Dallas Roberts, Vincent Kartheiser, Miles Robbins. This is just a teaser, but but damn does it have some unsettling moments in it, which is the whole point of the film. Lynch’s performance looks superb. ›››

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