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Creepy experimental animators the Quay Brothers (Brothers Quay?), have been commissioned to make a film at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. I visited the Mutter recently - it's the museum of the Surgeon's College of Philadelphia and full of antique medical curiosities originally used for teaching medical students. It's really neat - I liked the drawers that catalogue objects extracted in patients airways, sorted by size and type.

The Quay Brothers film is using the museums' artifacts as the basis for stories in "the latest attempt by a museum to expand its audience by enlisting artists to interpret its collection" and is being funded by a $287,000 grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage (this is all from the New York Times article about the project). It's a very fitting, Halloween-appropriate collaboration between the filmmakers and the museum's collection. Maybe more...

When even A.O. Scott is having a hard time defining contemporary documentary, imagine how difficult it must be for the rest of us:

New York Time Article: "Documentaries (in Name Only) of Every Stripe" » 

We're used to seeing home movie footage, or faked home movie footage, used in all kinds of movies - personal documentaries and fiction film credits come to mind right away, and I'm pretty sure that the opening sequence of Toy Story 3 was an animated home video sequence, which just goes to show what a powerful moviemaking standard they are.

Home Movie Day, on Saturday, October 16, is a unique opportunity to see this most common and beautiful form of non-fiction filmmaking screened in its own right. Audiences can bring their own home movies to show, whether on 16mm, 8mm, super 8 or video (VHS and DVD clips limited to 5 minutes).

Part 2
Independent Film Week

Prior to my trek north to Maine, I spent time in New York City at Independent Film Week, 19-23 September. Two LEF funded projects were part of Spotlight on Documentaries: Betting the Farm (Jason Mann, Cecily Pingree) and Ivan and Ivana (Jeff Silva). The works-in-progress screenings are the highlight for me at IFW. I met and saw the work of many filmmakers outside the NE region, as well as being introduced to some NE filmmakers I didn’t yet know.

At both IFW and Points North, similar notes were struck related to distribution and financing. Some food for thought:

Part 1
Camden International Film Festival: Points North and Pitching

 

In its second year, Points North at the Camden Film Festival is the place for New England filmmakers to connect with people in the documentary film industry. The impetus behind Points North was to connect New England filmmakers to the industry, and the industry to New England filmmakers.  And it’s succeeding at both.

New England