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BFCer Donal Foreman' OUT OF HERE premieres online

3-alex_landon3Alexander MallisJan 12, 2015

BFCer Donal Foreman's winning Irish feature film, OUT OF HERE, is set to have an online debut January 16th on Vimeo. The film, shot in Dublin, follows Ciaran as he reluctantly returns to his hometown of Dublin, broke and stuck living with his parents. The film is a refreshing exploration of a angsty youth culture told through a lush, patient, and bold lens. Irish and American critics alike have nearly universal praise for the film, calling it "one of the best debut films this country has produced in many years, a film whose reputation will only build as the years go by" and "A picture-perfect framing of a time and place". Not bad.

Donal workshopped a rough cut of Out of Here with us at BFC back in 2013. Below, I asked Donal a few questions in anticipation of his VOD release.

Alex Mallis: First, a little about the film. Can you tell me about its inception?

Donal Foreman: I first conceived of Out of Here when I was an undergrad at the National Film School in Dublin. Since I was a teenager I'd been trying to find ways to make films about growing up in Dublin, exploring experiences that I'd gone through or seen play out in different ways among my peers -- dealing with feelings of alienation, displacement, struggles to express oneself and connect with others... This idea of a college-age Dubliner reluctantly returning home after a year's traveling seemed like the ideal vehicle to take on some of these concerns. I developed the idea over several years after graduation, while honing my skills on a series of shorts, and allowed new ideas and observations to accumulate and "stick" to the central concept until I felt ready to make it as my first feature. The series of shorts definitely served as a kind of training ground for developing my style and how I liked to collaborate with actors. They also ended up being "studies" of some of the ideas and themes of the feature, though that wasn't entirely conscious. Anyway, at that point, I started trying to attach a producer and production company to the project, which was a whole other saga.

AM: The film has a meandering quality - and yet that out-of-place feeling comes across exquisitely. How were you able to avoid the pitfalls of exposition while still feeling confident you would get your point across?

DF: For me, in every aspect of filmmaking, from working with actors to designing the visuals, the important principle is embodiment rather than illustration. To take an example: with actors, I encourage them to forget about making themselves understood from the viewer's point of view. Their job is to embody the character in that situation, to commit to and be present to that experience as it unfolds. You've got to have faith that that kind of embodiment and presence is what's going to make the thing compelling. This applies just as much to the way the narrative, imagery and sound is handled. When I see filmmakers or performers straining to be understood at the expense of this kind of honesty, it pains me.

In terms of exposition, my original script and rough assembly of the film had more upfront exposition, and in the editing process I started paring that down, trying to find the right balance between giving you sufficient bearings to engage while still keeping you a little lost and displaced, giving you space to make your own connections and judgements and bring some of your own experiences and emotions to bear on it.

AM: One thing that struck me was your bold camera placement. Your use of master shots allowed me to really explore the frame. And when you did go in for coverage, you seemed to resist the urge to cut. Did you know ahead of time you would rely on master shots, and then, how did you decide what to cover?

DF: I knew I wanted to avoid traditional coverage for the most part. There are exceptions, but often I feel like people fall back on traditional coverage because they don't have any visual ideas of their own. They're not trying to find new ways to see the world, they're just keeping it "covered".

In terms of what was shot, it varied day to day. Some scenes were looser than others and I felt I needed to keep some options open in the edit, so we shot a few angles (though sometimes this would turn out to be unnecessary, and I played the scene in one shot anyway.) Then other scenes I knew it had to be one and that's all we shot.

When I do use shot-reverse shots, I try to be very deliberate with the cutting, because I don't want to fall into the pattern of just cutting back and forth on lines of dialogue, and therefore undermining the rhythm the film has developed so far, as well as the expressive power of the cut itself.

AM: You captured great performances with really natural feeling dialogue. Did you script word for word?

DF: The film is more scripted than it looks. We had a workshop rehearsal process prior to shooting and the full script emerged out of that, with a lot of input from the cast. This created an investment and familiarity with the material that paid off on screen. My favorite quote about working with actors is from John Cassavetes: "The director creates an atmosphere and the atmosphere directs the picture."

AM: There's a moment in the film where the main character, Ciaran, perks up at the mention of New York City and I couldn't help being reminded of your own life as a filmmaker here in Brooklyn. Do you ever consider returning to Ireland full time?

DF: Not in the near future. I don't really have any job prospects there - the work I do in New York, as a teaching artist for the Tribeca Film Institute, doesn't really have an equivalent in Ireland - and I find the culture in NYC more inspiring, energizing and motivating at this point in my life. I think making Out of Here might have been a way of saying farewell to the city, in a certain sense. It sums up a time and a mood that I was just moving past when I made it (I was already living in New York for a year when I went back to shoot the film). But I still feel connected to and concerned with Irish culture, and it's definitely something I'm going to return to in my filmmaking.

AM: Besides the premiere on the 16th, what's next?

DF: I have script development funding for two scripts I'm working on, one set in Ireland and one set in New York, and I'm procrastinating by dreaming up a few others. And I'm teaching filmmaking to middle schoolers in New York for the Tribeca Film Institute, so that's keeping me busy as well.

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OUT OF HERE premieres January 15th on Vimeo On Demand for rent and download. Check it out here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/outofhere

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BFC Winter Party

3-alex_landon3Alexander MallisJan 6, 2015

The Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective cordially invites you to a night of fun and merriment.

7p /// come mix

830p /// come listen
Glass Ghost
Time In County (http://goo.gl/uXJcL1)
SHRAF

1030p /// come dance
DJ Bruce (Razor N Tape)
Stewey Decimal (The Get Wild Five)
DJ Treatz

/// Also featuring video projections by BFCers!

/// suggested donation of $3-5 for the bands and DJs

/// RSVP!! \\\

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BFC @ IDA

77-andrewAndrew HintonDec 8, 2014

BFC represented at the International Documentary Association Awards at the Paramount Theater in LA on Friday!

Iva Radivojevic's Evaporating Borders recently won the RTP Award For Best Investigation Film at DocLisboa 2014, the Best Balkan Documentary Award at DokuFest in Prizren, Coup De Coeur Du Jury at FIFIG and was nominated in the IDA - International Documentary Awards for the David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award.

Andrew Hinton and Danielle Lurie were there with Tashi and the Monk which picked up both the Pare Lorentz Award and the Best Short Award - the only film of the night to win two awards!

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BFC films at SCREEN/SOUNDS, an evening of cosmic A/V collaborations

85-nickheadshotNicholas SantosNov 19, 2014

The Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective is proud to be be presenting work in SCREEN/SOUNDS, an evening of cosmic A/V collaborations. We're collaborating with the art collective Destination Moon to bring you re-imagined live scores to two of our members' short films. See the full program below!

SCREEN/SOUNDS

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5 @ 8:00pm at LOT 45
(411 Troutman St.) in Bushwick (steps from the Jefferson L train).

Music by:

Legs!
Modern Rivals!
Star Rover!
Carson Moody
(Tigue) & Anthony Vine!
DJ's Mister Kingdom (Zongo Junction)
& Adam Schatz!

Films by:
Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective's
BullMoose Pictures!
and Avi Zev Weider!
Plus Laura Bartczak!

Projections by:
Jesse Mann!


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STREET VIEWS Nominated for a Golden Cube Award for Installation, Kassel Dokfest

5-annie_berman_profile_photo_lesAnnie BermanNov 9, 2014

STREET VIEWS, the installation, on view Nov 11-16, Kassel, Germany.

Program Notes:

STREET VIEWS

"I used to walk around taking pictures. I now find myself walking around in pictures" says Annie Berman,as a starting point in her video art work named STREET VIEWS. A stroll through frozen moments captured and conserved in a google street view map of West Village in New York City. Gliding through the map, the viewer gets an impression of everyday life street scenes on a sunday afternoon in this exquisite part of New York City, frozen in a moment.

Bermans stroll is accompanied by side stories, that appear like short excursions from the actual route. The words of a doorman she recently met leads the viewer to the residencial building where he works every night. While the "dérive" - as the artist calls her excursion - continues, the virtual eye walks through the streets using big steps. "Click - click - click" is the rather silent and discrete sound of these massive movements. Most of the people passing by along the way don´t know that in the moment of the capturing they become like a virtual sculpture - immortal as part of the virtual world.

"Is the face really our most identifying feature?" asks the voice starting to imagine how these people are, how they might live and what they might be interested in. Passing through the walls of buildings along the way the artist tries to get closer to the people. She is looking for the video store in this virtual world but gets lost by trying to communicate with the things that appear on her stroll. What she wants to get close to, vanishes. The protagonists and things appear and disappear, as the camera can only catch one moment.

Time by time the camera is accidentally reflected by the environment in a window screen or a mirror. A modern and for the person behind the camera perhaps rather unconscious reference to old paintings where the painter has depicted himself - becoming immortal through his own image. By seeing traces of the camera the illusion of the virtual world suddenly becomes unreal. We begin to understand that we only see through the virtual eyes of a certain perspective.

In her work, Berman is looking for the video store. But actually she is looking for intimacy and emotions, which she can hardly find in the cold virtual world of a google map. In the end, she finds at least a trace of what she is looking for. Commenting it satisfied: I love you, too!

Marta Palacios Anaut

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BFC heads to the New Orleans Film Festival

3-alex_landon3Alexander MallisOct 13, 2014

We're bring a posse to NOLA. We're renting a house. We love this city.

Check out our films this at this year's fest:
(All listed credits are BFC members)

After Trayvon (Directed by Alex Mallis)
Elvis Loses His Excess & Other Tales From The World's Longest Yard Sale (Directed by Riley Hooper, Sound and Additional Camera by Bryan Chang)
Evaporating Borders (Directed by Iva Radivojevic)
Five Star (Directed by Keith Miller, Produced by Luisa Conlon + Landon Van Soest, co-DP Alex Mallis, Camera Op Eric Phillips-Horst, AD Lily Henderson)
A Grand Canal (Directed by Johnny Ma)
Stray Dog (Director of Photography Eric Phillips-Horst, Edited by Tory Stewart)

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Bronx Obama on iTunes and Vimeo now. Airing on Showtime Oct. 30

64-ryanblazerRyan MurdockOct 10, 2014

The feature documentary Bronx Obama, directed and produced by BFCer Ryan Murdock, is now available digitally on Vimeo, iTunes and most digital platforms. The film will have it's television debut Oct 30 on Showtime.

3 1/2 years in the making, the film follows the story of Bronx resident Louis Ortiz, a Puerto Rican father whose life turns upside down when he discovers his uncanny resemblance to President Barack Obama. Go see why Stephen Colbert said the film was "So good, it almost made me like Chicago Obama."


More information at www.BronxObamaMovie.com

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter @BronxObamaMovie

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STRAY DOG at NYFF52

42-toryTory StewartOct 7, 2014

STRAY DOG (directed by Debra Granik with cinematography and editing by BFCers Eric Phillips-Horst and Tory Stewart, respectively) is having its New York premiere in the 52nd New York Film Festival's Spotlight on Documentary. After two lively screenings and Q&As, an encore screening has been added in Walter Reade on Sunday, October 12th, at 2:30pm.

A.V. CLUB: "In its quiet, vérité way, Stray Dog ponders some of the major issues in American life: the lasting impact of wars on those who fight them; the government’s treatment of veterans, whose lives remain largely absent from public view; and the difficulties of immigration and assimilation. It’s a film that starts as a character study and builds into something much larger. It seems likely to linger in the mind as the festival wears on.

(see more reactions and future screenings)

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The Estate of Elvis Presley, Artist Book, now on view at 205 Hudson Street Gallery

5-annie_berman_profile_photo_lesAnnie BermanSep 17, 2014

Artist Book 'The Estate of Elvis Presley' (part of The Faithful handmade ephemera) now on display at 205 Hudson Street Gallery as part of the Another Place: The C12 Exhibition


Opening: TONIGHT! 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Hunter College MFA Campus
205 Hudson Street Gallery
(Entrance on Canal, between Hudson and Greenwich)

Eight Hunter College MFA alumn come together for a show at Hunter’s new location on Canal. Each have practices that redefine space. Given the number of solid artists Hunter produces each year—and the level of talent that is included in this show—we recommend it.

Artists: Ryan Lauderdale, Rodrigo Lobos Huber, Emmy Catedral, Ryan McNamara, Cybele Lyle, Denise Schatz, Jules de Balincourt, Carolyn Salas

Curated by Lindsay Aveilhé, Sophia Alexandrov, Samantha Best

http://www.arthaps.com/day/Wednesday/September/17/2014

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Five Star to plav at the Venice Bienale as part of Giornate degli Autore

26-km_byivaradKeith MillerAug 10, 2014

After John’s absent father is struck by a stray bullet, Primo takes it upon himself to verse the young boy in the code of the streets—one founded on respect and upheld by fear. A member of the Bloods since the age of twelve—both in the film and in reality—the streets of Brooklyn are all Primo has ever known. While John questions whether or not to enter into this life, Primo must decide whether to leave it all behind as he vows to become a better husband and father. Set during those New York summer weeks where the stifling heat seems to encase everything, Five Star plunges into gang culture with searing intensity. Director Keith Miller observes the lives of these two men with a quiet yet pointed distance, carefully eschewing worn clichés through its unflinching focus. Distinctions between fiction and real life remain intentionally ambiguous, allowing the story of these two men to resonate beyond the streets, as they face the question of what it means to be a man.