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Masterclass with Award-Winning Director Vikram Jayanti

DCIFF presents a masterclass with veteran multi-award-winning documentary director and producer Vikram Jayanti on Sunday, March 1st at 1:45pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance HERE or at the door (limited to 30 attendees).

Vjayanti_Hjayanti

One of the hardest challenges of documentary filmmaking is controlling the unexpected. This year’s masterclass with Vikram Jayanti will focus on his experiences interviewing difficult, eccentric, larger-than-life and often notorious subjects, and the techniques and strategies that have produced the best results for his films. Vikram will be discussing and showing excerpts from several of his films that contain people that are not only larger-than-life, but they are about something bigger than themselves.

His stunning credentials from years of experience grants Vikram access into the lives of people who are otherwise off-limits to the world. A few dynamic characters from his films that will be topics of the masterclass include a self-acclaimed psychic spy in The Secret Life of Uri Geller – Psychic Spy?, a musical genius in The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector, James Ellroy’s Feast of Death and a chess extraordinair in Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine. He will discuss various techniques that were used to capture unique moments and angles with these individuals.

A top-of-mind scenario for Vikram when speaking with him about what we can expect from the masterclass was how the energy shifted when he sat James Ellroy across from his wife Helen during filming enabling only the filmmaker to truly visualize the scene. Vikram enjoyed exploring the difference between facts and truth with filming Ellroy. He explains his cinematic approach by saying, “art and literature can have access to deeper truths than facts can provide. Supplying the fundamentals of the facts is important, but then engage the audience with the mystery of the story, a new way to see detectives and the ability to visualize the truth.”

Vikram will help explain how to obtain the less obvious and yet more fascinating aspects of a story. For example, the focus for his film about the famous Russian chess player Garry “The Beast” Kasparov, whose only undefeatable opponent was an IBM supercomputer, was not the game of chess. Vikram changed the story from chess to the “face-off” between a Russian and Wallstreet. The Beast was unable to stare down a computer which resulted in unexpected, thrilling and adrenaline induced storytelling.

The relationship between the filmmaker and the subject is more than a face-to-face interview. Join us on Sunday, March 1st at 1:45pm to learn the essential techniques and approaches, along with a few tricks of the trade, to capture the untold story.

Learn more about Vikram Jayanti and the event HERE.

Vikram's films

Purchase tickets HERE to see films directed and produced by Vikram Jayanti:

Thursday, February 26th at 6pm
The Secret life of Uri Geller – Psychic Spy?
Friday, February 27th at 2pm
Snowblind
Saturday, February 28th at 8pm
James Ellroy’s Feast of Death

Stay updated on DCIFF news and events by visiting our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Teenkahon (Three Obsessions) Screening & Discussion with Bauddhayan Mukherji

3_kahon_Mosaic

DCIFF presents a screening of Teenkahon (Three Obsessions) followed by a Q&A with producer-director Bauddhayan Mukherji on Saturday, February 28th at 5:15pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door.

Teenkahon is a rare international triptych film directed by one of India’s leading advertising filmmakers, Bauddhayan Mukherji. The three stories that make up this film capture the changing face of morality, degeneration of values and the changing social fabric of Bengal. Teenkahon has been Mukherji’s tribute to Satyajit Ray, the one man who unknowingly changed his life for the best. Mukherji says, “he is the reason why I make films, hence the first story is dedicated to him. If it does remind people of Ray, I would take it as a complement.”

Teenkahon Film Still 5*    Teenkahon Film Still 4*

Three stories, spanning one hundred years, are structured in the manner of a classical three-act play. The first film, Nabalok, represents the time period 1920-1954 and is shot in black and white. Post Mortem is a technicolor film set in 1978. The third act is titled Telephone, and it depicts 2013 in contemporary digital film format. Teenkahon is an ambitious movie that links each story through the theme of obsessive relationships outside of marriage. As a director, Mukherji says he has, “aimed to document social evolution in Bengal and at the same time celebrate each period in all its glory through this film.”

Buddy's headshot 3

At age eleven, Mukherji decided to become a filmmaker after ready a book by Satyajit Ray titled Ekei Boley Shooting (All About Shooting). Today he runs his own production company called Little Lamb Films and is considered a trailblazer in Indian advertising, having won numerous international awards for his commercials. Although he thrives in the commercial ad space, Mukherji’s heart lies with Bengali feature films.

Mukherji sees Teenkahon as his tribute to a hundred years of Indian filmmaking. He tells us, “If people find the dualism and dichotomy that exist in this journey of two hours interesting, I would possibly feel elated as a filmmaker.”

Learn more about Teenkahon on the DCIFF website.

Stay updated on DCIFF news and events by visiting our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Real Storytelling Through Virtual Reality

VR glasses

The popular pastime of watching a movie is beginning to have a new meaning. Filmmaker Emiliano Ruprah has reached beyond just watching and has broken into telling stories through virtual reality. Snake River, Emiliano tells us, is the first virtual reality movie. This fully immersive heist film integrates the audience with five mercenaries that are hired to retrieve a stolen biological weapon. After being captured by a highly unstable Russian mobster, they must piece together what went wrong, and who, if anyone, is telling the truth.

Snake River

This film was shot 360 degrees with a special camera and rig, and it provides a panoramic motion image that is then stitched together in post-production. The story is experienced through a headset worn by the viewer and allows them to be engrossed in the film without the option to look away from the screen. Initially a thesis project, Snake River was produced in 2 months with the help of extensive research, funding and technical support in partnership with GXM.

This 30 minute film experiment has opened doors into the future of filmmaking. Ruprah is fascinated by the unique opportunity of “integrating people and entertainment,” and is eager to continue this form of storytelling in spite of the financial and technologically advanced challenges that come along with virtual reality. Although Ruprah feels we’re still “building a cinematic language,” the potential of 360 degree filmmaking is growing closer to becoming a reality in the near future.

Distribution for this type of film has its challenges, but Ruprah is excited to be able to share this innovative, artistic experiment. DCIFF is proud to join with Ruprah to present the virtual reality film experience at this year’s festival. Join us on Friday, Feb 27th for Happy Hour from 6-8pm Navy Heritage Center, Archives Metro and all-day Saturday, Feb 28th from 2-7pm (District Architecture Center at Archives or Gallery Place Metro) to try this out ($5 donation requested).

Don’t just go to the movies, experience a different reality.

Learn more about Snake River here and follow on Facebook for updates on screening times at DCIFF.

For details on DCIFF and this year’s festival, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

DCIFF Kicks Off Submissions for 2015 Festival

We are proud to open submissions for our 2015 DC Independent Film Festival, running this year from February 25th to March 1st. For the 15th year, we are thrilled to support the film community not only in DC, but around the world.

DCIFF is unique in several aspects. The first being we are the oldest film festival in the DC-area but also entirely volunteer-run. This means we give your film the personal attention it deserves by taking the time to watch every film submitted. Not just by one reviewer but by our festival director as well to ensure your film is  fairly judged.

We also do not pre-program our festival around a specific genre or theme. This gives us the freedom to accept any film, from any country, in any language, or genre no matter the length or subject (minus any pornographic content). As a result, we receive top-notch animation submissions which shows to a sold-out crowd year-after-year. We can also première experimental or art films that aren’t necessarily confined to just the screen, including installations or music performances. We are also happy to announce we will be continuing both our Summit On the Hill and High School Student Film Showcase this year.

As for a few housekeeping items, we always like to remind our potential filmmakers that to be eligible, your film must be premiering in the DC Metro Area and cannot be available online for free once selected. We want to make sure that you have the best crowd possible but to do this we need to be able to build buzz around your amazing film.

Interested? Great! We thought you might be. Head on over to our submissions page for more information about fees, deadlines, and forms. We will be using Withoutabox again this year for digital submissions in addition to Submittable which will be live within the next week.

Looking forward to seeing all your wonderful films!