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Posted: Mar 22, 2017 Hosted By: Jeff York Guest: Mare Keane

The new "Beauty & the Beast" honors the original Disney classic while deepening its story.


If you're going to remake a beloved classic, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better adaptation than director Bill Condon's superb live action update of the 1991 animated "Beauty & the Beast." He and his screenwriters clearly adore the original and vividly recreate the spirit of its story and render songs like "Be Our Guest" and "Gaston" with eye-popping 2017 detail. They also deepen the tale as old as time along with wonderful touches of modernity. Belle (Emma Watson) is now feistier, the casting is diverse, and even the villains are given more complexity. Who says you can't teach an old beast new tricks?

Posted: Mar 16, 2017 Hosted By: Max Timm

Gary Goldstein is an award winning writer for film, TV and the stage. He has written numerous films for Hallmark Channel and its sister network, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, including the comedies The Wish List, Hitched for the Holidays, This Magic Moment and My Boyfriends' Dogs, and the first two films in the Flower Shop Mystery series: "Mum's the Word" and "Snipped in the Bud," starring Brooke Shields.

Gary's feature film Politics of Love, a romantic comedy set during the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, was released in theaters August 2011. He also wrote the feature romantic comedy, If You Only Knew, which starred Johnathon Schaech, Alison Eastwood and James LeGros.


In addition, Gary has sold or optioned a number of original screenplays, has a string of episodic TV credits and has sold half-hour comedy pilots to both NBC and Warner Bros. Television.


On the L.A. stage, Gary has been represented with the comedies Just Men, Parental Discretion and Three Grooms and a Bride. His family drama Curtain Call premiered in late 2008 at Carmel, CA's Pacific Repertory Theatre. His newest play, the three-sisters dramedy April, May & June, will have its World Premiere in March 2017 at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills, as part of its 2016-17 subscription season.


Gary is also a freelance film reviewer and feature writer for the Los Angeles Times. 

Posted: Mar 12, 2017 Hosted By: Jeff York Guest: Chelsea Watkins

Table 19 is an uneasy mix of indie comedy and maudlin narrative.


The new comedy Table 19 comes with a sterling cast of comedic actors (Anna Kendrick, Craig Robinson and Lisa Kudrow among them), an indie pedigree (the story is from the Duplass brothers), and an institution like weddings ripe for the takedown. So why isn't writer/director Jeff Blitz's film funnier? For starters, it wants to eat its wedding cake and have it too. The movie tries hard to make the audience laugh, but it also wants us to shed a lot of maudlin tears for their characters' backstories. In fact, the story barely seems interested in the wedding they've all RSVP'd for, and spends way too much time, literally and figuratively, wandering in the nearby woods. The potential was there with all this talent, but this party stops being fun well before its final dance.



Malibu International Film Festival Malibu Film Festival caters to savvy, affluent individuals who care about the finest offerings. Malibu Film Festival brings together people, films and filmmakers among an affluent and p TVWriter As a writer and producer who has toiled in television for many years, I offer this inside look at the medium some have called the “vast wasteland". Inktip Finding good screenplays and professional writers is fast and easy on InkTip. Access is free to qualified producers, directors, agents, managers, and name actors. Toronto After Dark Toronto After Dark Film Festival is one of the world’s leading showcases of new horror, sci-fi, action and cult films. Entering its celebratory 10th Year in 2015, the critically acclaim Cineola Cineola opens the door to one of the most exciting industries by giving you direct access to emerging talent and exclusive footage. Funding films that matter. Marty Katz Productions Marty Katz has been involved in the motion picture and television industries for over three decades and has served in a variety of producing and executive positions in charge of product DGA Training Program The New York Assistant Director Training Program is designed to provide opportunities for a limited number of individuals to become Assistant Directors in film and television. INDIE FILM FINANCING & DISTIRBUTION – THE REAL DEAL

In this day and age where virtually anyone can shoot a movie on their iPhone, edit it on their iMac and self-distribute it through platforms such as "Distribber" and "Reelhouse," it would be a gross understatement to say that the independent feature film market has experienced a seismic paradigm shift over the past decade.


Although there once was a time when a writer/producer/director could and would pitch a script or story idea to potential funding source and get a check, those days are essentially over. In this new age, investors are savvier than ever and expect filmmakers to understand the financing and distribution models. Contrary to popular belief, for the most part, investors do not exist in order to help you get your project off the ground or launch your career; they exist to make money!


Therefore, it is your responsibility to present them with a logical, well thought out strategy for not only recouping their investment but to also make a significant profit. I know this sounds like common sense. However, the truth is, most first and second time filmmakers spend 100% of their time and energy trying to figure out how much they need, how they are going to spend it and where they are going to get it and 0% time trying to figure out how to get it back!


The key to successful film financing is to spend the appropriate amount of time, money and resources properly developing your project into an "investable" property - not just a great story.


After a decade of successful filmmaking, over 25 film credits and after making a zillion mistakes of his own, Executive Producer Franco Sama will share his wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise with you and will help to put you in the driver's seat of your own destiny as a filmmaker.




Franco Sama Bio:
Independent feature film producer Franco Sama boasts a remarkable and extensive history in public speaking, public relations and a decade of independent film development, production and financing.
Sama has Executive Produced an impressive array of over twenty (20) independent feature films including most recently, Guns, Girls and Gambling starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook which is quickly becoming a cult favorite; this film was released into theatres on December of 2012 and, in January 2013, acquired a worldwide distribution deal from Universal Pictures Home Video.
Other films Sama has produced include; Black Limousine starring David Arquette, Vivica Fox and Bijou Phillips, Tooth and Nail starring Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones, The Penitent Man, starring Lance Henriksen and Andrew Keegan and Paid, starring Corbin Bernsen and Tom Conti.
Sama also serves as Executive Producer on the recent film festival darling Petunia starring Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti.

Samaco Films released two films in 2015, the first, The Livingston Gardner stars James Kyson the beloved Ando from the NBC television hit series Heroes and the second, 3 Days in Havana starring Ally McBeal alum, Gil Bellows; both films have been released through Samaco Films' sister company, Synergetic Distribution and have been released via all digital and Video on Demand (VOD) platforms worldwide.

His shingle Samaco Films is currently producing a slate of several independent feature films, including Bless Me Father starring John Turturro, Michael Rapaport and Christopher Walken.

Open Road Films Open Road Films, founded in 2011, is a leading, independent, theatrical motion picture company, releasing a diverse slate of star-driven films which has included multiple #1 releases. ISA Spotlight: Fast Track Fellow & Contest Winner, Hennah Sekandary In a 2017 edition of the ISA Spotlight, the ISA Development Program is highlighting six of our star writers in conversation with the co-head of the Development Program, and writing coach, Max Timm.  Get To Know Hennah: Hennah Sekandary was raised in Southern California. Her parents emigrated to the U.S. from Kabul, Afghanistan during the Soviet Invasion. Upon entering the country, her family moved to Virginia before putting down roots in California. Hennah started writing at a young age, selling hand drawn comic strips to her classmates for five dollars a pop. She was later awarded a full scholarship to attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Upon graduating she received the Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship in Screenwriting for her proposed script about the L.A. Riots. The finished product would later win first place in The American Zoetrope screenwriting contest as well as the ISA Fast Track Fellowship.

Currently a star in the ISA's Development Program, Hennah is working on a feature-length sci-fi thriller and a one-hour pilot centering around the always-controversial death penalty.

The Black List The Black List is where filmmakers find great material to make films and great material finds filmmakers to make them. Over 225 Black List screenplays have been made as feature films. Byte Media Productions LLC Byte Media Productions LLC produces comedic entertainment including our most recent pilot, "Byte Me". We all have "bite me" moments and we decided to find the humor in ours. Independent Film Talk with SPOTLIGHT Producer, Blye Faust

I recently had the pleasure of talking to producer, Blye Faust - it was a great way to kick off the new year with not only an informative and inspiring interview, but to focus on a producer who found a story about writers and felt the need to tell it. Because at the heart of her movie, Spotlight, is a story about investigative journalists following their instincts, believing in the story they were telling, and the "why' such a story needed to be told. The obvious moral implications of Spotlight are numerous, but I love that the film is more focused on the now rare art of investigative journalism. Her film could have very easily swung toward the shocking and the extreme (and in case you don't know yet, Spotlight focuses on the devastating news story about the rampant child abuse issues inside the Catholic church), but Spotlight didn't go that route. In this interview we discuss her journey of bringing Spotlight to life, and get her invaluable advice for aspiring producers and filmmakers even beyond her Spotlight journey.


It's a new year, and with the calendar flipping over, the ISA is motivated and determined to bring you the most helpful and supportive content in the industry - not just through our podcast series, but by way of individually supporting writers. There are so many exciting things happening with the ISA, and I myself am thrilled to be a part of it. We're very thankful that Blye was able to take some time out of her busy award season schedule, and we're all cheering her on as 2016 begins. Stay tuned to all things ISA through our website, or via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook - there are plenty of ways to stay in touch, so we urge you to do so. You can find me on the same social media channels as well as I look forward to my novel's release in April - and yes, that is a little plug of self-promotion.

Thanks for listening, everyone, and we're excited to get 2016 started. Enjoy the interview and happy new year.

Crystal Palace Int'l Film Festival Promoting independent filmmakers and talent from around the world.  Organized by Harlequin Productions in London. Unofficial Google+ Film Festival We are a live, online, interactive, global, short film festival that extends and broadens viewers outside the common film festival experience and allows a much larger audience to enjoy. Interview with Director / Writer Afonso Poyart, Two Rabbits

SYS Podcast Episode 114:

Director / Screenwriter Afonso Poyart talks about his film Two Rabbits.

ISA Reviews: HBO's Westworld

Westworld is an enigmatic mystery that keeps us guessing.


The new HBO series does more than just re-imagine Michael Crichton's 1973 cult movie Westworld as a deeper and more philosophical examination of modern technology. It also confounds most of the rules of narrative in a television series. Almost every character at work and at play in the westernized adult theme park remains enigmatic eight hours into the 10-episode season. Multiple timelines may be at play, though they've yet to be clearly stated. And just what the maze at the center of the show means is anybody's guess. Maybe because so much is left to the viewer to decide and decipher, it's become the ‘water cooler' show of the fall season. Is it about robots becoming human, or God complexes or something else? Hard to say, but no matter where it's all going, it is utterly enthralling television. And we anxiously await its answers.

A Night of Horror Film Festival The festival remains dedicated to screening and promoting the work of independent filmmakers working in the horror genre in both Australia and abroad. Big Bear Lake Int'l Film Festival Presenting the emerging talents of independent filmmakers and screenwriters. Rhode Island Film and TV Office To promote Rhode Island as the ideal site for film and television projects, and to help our state's film and video artists, and others, benefit from their filmmaking experience in t Glass Page Books Small Press Breaking In & Creating Longevity with Veteran, Matthew Penn & Max Timm

Being first in line of a bunch of new interviews focused around the world of television, I recently brought on long-time TV director and producer, Matthew Penn. From NYPD Blue, Law & Order, House and so many more, Matthew has recently directed episodes of Orange is the New Black, Damages, and he is the Co-Executive Producer of the upcoming USA Drama, Queen of the South, which from the sounds of it, will be an intricate character-driven story and likely a hit among audiences.


We pulled back the curtain on so many topics in this interview, but his advice for young writers, and what he's learned from working with legends like Glenn Close, and his multiple Oscar nominee father, (Arthur Penn of Bonnie & Clyde, and The Miracle Worker), the knowledge that can be gleaned from this Podcast is, dare I say, priceless.

American Film Institute (AFI) AFI is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media.  Summit Talent & Literary Agency 9454 Wilshire Blvd Ste 203 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 (310) 205-9730. The agency represents actors, singers and writers. It will prepare all contracts between the producers and the tale JUMPTHECUT JUMPTHECUT is the cinephile equivalent of Pandora Radio. A free, automated short film recommendation playlist sent directly to our subscribers' inboxes every month. Los Angeles Film Review Independent Film Awards The Los Angeles Film Review is an entertainment news, review and technology website, devoted to the film industry. We wanted to bring an industry level view of the broader film industry
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