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The IFP’s Independent Film Week is a fantastic annual showcase of independent films at different stages of development by both emerging and established artists. During this week, the IFP connects filmmakers with funders, broadcasters, sales agents, festival programmers and other key film supporters in an attempt to gain traction for the selected projects. At the 2013 Project Forum’s Spotlight on Documentaries, LEF was fortunate to have 3 LEF-supported projects in the slate: ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM (Ed Pincus, Lucia Small, Mary Kerr), MUDFLOW (Cynthia Wade) and THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MICHELLE MAREN (Michel Negroponte, Michelle Maren, Marie-Emmanuelle Hartness). Cambridge-based filmmaker Marie-Emmanuelle Hartness is producing THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MICHELLE MAREN, a film about 49-year-old Michelle, a former beauty queen and porn star, who has barricaded herself in her apartment, suffers from multiple mental disorders and fights to move beyond a haunting past of sexual abuse and abandonment. This was Marie-Emmanuelle’s first journey to the IFP and she shares her experiences of the IFP in this blog post. Thank you, Marie-Emmanuelle!

Before I began working for the LEF Foundation, I worked for two years with independent film festivals in China as a translator, moderator, program coordinator, and programmer. I learned to consider the presence of plainclothes police officers, mysterious power outages, impromptu venue-changes, and festival cancellations as fairly normal – all in a day's work for independent festival organizers.

After attending the Camden International Film Festival just two weeks ago, it seems so basic to me that every film community should have a strong and flourishing local festival like Camden.

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