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Turning Leaf Someone to Watch Award
The tenth annual Turning Leaf Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award is accompanied by a $20,000 unrestricted grant, funded by Turning Leaf Vineyards. Finalists for the 2004 Turning Leaf Someone to Watch Award are:

Andrew Bujalski, director of Funny Ha Ha
Ben Coccio, director of Zero Day
Ryan Eslinger, director of Madness and Genius

Turning Leaf Someone to Watch Award Nominating Committee:
Ryan Werner (Chair), Scott Foundas, Jytte Jensen, Wesley Morris, Maud Nadler
DIRECTV/IFC Truer Than Fiction Award
The eighth annual DIRECTV/IFC Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features: a filmmaker of unique vision and talent who has not yet received significant attention. The award is accompanied by a $20,000 unrestricted grant, funded by DIRECTV and IFC. The Finalists for the 2004 DIRECTV / IFC Truer Than Fiction Award are:

Linda Goode Bryant and Laura Poitras, directors of Flag Wars
Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk, directors of Lost Boys of Sudan
Nathaniel Kahn, director of My Architect
Robb Moss, director of The Same River Twice

DIRECTV/IFC Truer Than Fiction Award Nominating Committee:
Eugene Hernandez (Chair), Jennifer Dworkin, Kathryn Galan, Mike Maggiore,
Diane Weyermann
Producers Award
The seventh annual Producers Award honors filmmakers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality independent films. The award is accompanied by a $20,000 unrestricted grant. The Finalists for the 2004 Producers Award are:

Callum Greene and Anthony Katagas, producers of Happy Here and Now and Homework
Lauren Moews, producer of Cabin Fever and Briar Patch
Mary Jane Skalski, producer of The Station Agent and The Jimmy Show

Producers Award Nominating Committee: Scott Macaulay (Chair), Anthony Bregman, Effie T. Brown, Andrea Sperling, Janet Yang


Turning Leaf Someone To Watch Award

Andrew Bujalski, director of Funny Ha Ha
Andrew Bujalski attended Harvard University, where he studied filmmaking under Dick Rogers, Robb Moss, Dusan Makavejev, and Chantal Akerman. Funny Ha Ha has screened at numerous film festivals (including Los Angeles, Olympia, Maryland, Woodstock and Nashville) and independent venues (including the George Eastman House, the Harvard Film Archive, Chicago’s Facets Cinematheque, and New York’s Pioneer Theater), and won awards at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival and the Northampton Film Festival. Andrew was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Indie Film” in 2003.

Ben Coccio, director of Zero Day
Ben Coccio first started making movies in grade school with his family’s VHS camcorder. 5:45 am, his first 35mm short, was picked up by the Independent Film Channel in mid-2000 and was also an official selection of the 1999 London International Film Festival. Before it was released theatrically in September 2003 by Avatar films, Coccio’s award-winning first feature Zero Day was a controversial hit on the festival circuit. Zero Day won four grand jury prizes and three audience awards for Best Feature. Coccio was also awarded $100,000 filmmaking grant from the Florida Film Festival, complementary DVD authoring from Sony Pictures Entertainment and, in April of 2003, he was named one of the twenty-five new faces of independent film by Filmmaker Magazine.

Ryan Eslinger, director of Madness and Genius
Madness and Genius is 22- year-old Ryan Eslinger’s first feature film. Inspired while sitting in a seventh grade science class, he began working on the script when only 13. Over the next eight years, Ryan continued to work on the story and saved money for the film’s budget by working several part-time jobs. Madness and Genius has been over a decade in the making, and is the 2003 recipient of The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize in Science and Technology.
DIRECTV / IFC Truer Than Fiction Award

Linda Goode Bryant, director of Flag Wars
Linda Goode Bryant is an award-winning producer, writer, and director of documentaries and experimental shorts and installations. Ms. Bryant co-produced, directed, and edited Flag Wars (2003), a cinema verite documentary that launched the 2003 POV season on PBS. Ms. Bryant is currently in development on The Vote, a cinema verite look at America’s 2004 presidential primaries and election from two distinct perspectives — from the point of view of voters and from the point of view of those working inside the process — to observe the effect campaigning, organizing, demonstrations, and media have on voters and, non-voters, come Election Day. Ms. Bryant’s other work includes Hurricane Teens, a segment on Split Screen, a weekly cable television show aired on BRAVO/The Independent Film Channel; My Am, an experimental narrative, and The Business of Being an Artist, a documentary on the impact the art market has on artists and their creativity.

Laura Poitras, director of Flag Wars
Laura Poitras is a New York-based documentary filmmaker. In addition to Flag Wars , she also just completed Oh say can you see. Since 1996 she has worked as a freelance editor for HBO, IFC, and BRAVO. She was also the Associate Producer for Free Tibet a music documentary.

Nathaniel Kahn (Director/Producer)
Nathaniel Kahn grew up in Philadelphia and attended Yale University on a scholarship, where he was awarded the Gordon Prize for his work as a theater director. In 1989, Mr. Kahn wrote and directed a play, “Owl’s Breath,” which was presented off-Broadway. In 1992, he co-wrote The Room, a short dramatic film about a boy whose room falls out of a building. The Room screened at the Sundance Film Festival and won an award at the Cannes Film Festival.

An active environmentalist, Mr. Kahn also spent several years collaborating with Miranda Productions on a number of environmentally themed documentaries including, My Father’s Garden, which was featured at the Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast by the Sundance Channel, and Wilderness: The Last Stand, which was broadcast by PBS. After several years of fund-raising, he was able to embark on the making of My Architect, his first feature-length film.

Robb Moss, director of The Same River Twice
Robb Moss is an independent, non-fiction filmmaker whose work has shown at the Telluride Film Festival, the Cinéma du Réel in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has shot films in Ethiopia, Liberia, Greece, Mexico, Hungary, Japan, Turkey, Nicaragua and the Gambia. Many of these films on such subjects as famine, genocide and the large-scale structure of the universe-have been broadcast nationally. He is the past board chair and president of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) and has taught filmmaking at Harvard University for the past 15 years.

Megan Mylan, director of Lost Boys of Sudan
Megan Mylan is a San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker. Her film Batidania on Brazilian resistance music, won Best Documentary at the Marin Latino Film Festival. Mylan has collaborated on documentaries for PBS, HBO, Showtime and the BBC including Frances Reid and Deborah Hoffmann’s Long Night’s Journey Into Day, 2000 Academy Award® nominee and winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, Jon Else’s Open Outcry and Sing Faster; and Yesterday’s Tomorrows directed by Barry Levinson for Showtime. She has a background in international development and Masters degrees in Journalism and Latin American Studies from UC Berkeley.

Jon Shenk, director of Lost Boys of Sudan
Jon Shenk is a documentary filmmaker and founder of Actual Films in San Francisco. He directed and photographed The Beginning about the making of Star Wars: Episode I. He is currently co-directing the PBS film, Inside The Tent, about the post-war constitutional process in Afghanistan. Shenk has produced and photographed several documentaries for MTV and the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Shenk has photographed many documentaries for PBS, A&E, Bravo, CBS, NBC, the BBC, and recently, The Skin We’re In, an Emmy-nominating National Geographic special. He earned his Masters in Documentary Filmmaking from Stanford University in 1995.
Producers Award

Mary Jane Skalski, producer of The Station Agent and The Jimmy Show
The Station Agent was released by Miramax Films in the fall of 2003. Written and directed by Tom McCarthy, the film stars Patricia Clarkson, Peter Dinklage and Bobby Cannavale. The film premiered in the Dramatic Competition at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and received the Audience Award, the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, and a special acting award for Ms. Clarkson. Some of her other producing credits include Frank Whaley’s The Jimmy Show which screened at the Toronto and Sundance Film Festivals, Paul Harrill’s Gina An Actress Age 29, which was awarded the Grand Jury Prize in Short Film at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.

Ms. Skalski is partnered with producer Jeffrey Levy-Hinte at Antidote Films. She is also the US scout for Fortissimo Film Sales and an assistant adjunct faculty member in Columbia University’s Graduate Film Department

Callum Greene
After spending five years as a producer and stage manger of theatre in Europe, Callum Greene moved to New York in 1995 to concentrate on film production. In 1996, he was awarded the Arthur Krim Fellowship for Producers by James Schamus. His various credits include The Sticky Fingers of Time and Love God as assistant director; Long Time Since, The Farmhouse, and In The Weeds as co-producer; and Hamlet, Paid In Full, and most recently Lost In Translation as line producer. His production company, Keep Your Head Productions, has produced numerous music videos and commercials for Sony Music, Toyota, Peugeot, Pepsi, and Playtex. Currently scheduled for release in April 2004 are both Michael Almereyda’s new film Happy Here And Now, and a documentary for Sam Shepard based on his latest play, The Late Henry Moss.

Anthony Katagas
In 1999, Anthony Katagas joined partner Callum Greene to form Keep Your Head
Productions, a company committed to the development, financing and production of independent films in New York City. Teaming with director Michael Almereyda, they produced Happy Here and Now that screened at the Toronto and Rotterdam Film Festivals and earned a Special Jury Prize at SXSW. Mr. Katagas and Mr. Greene produced This So-Called Disaster, a documentary featuring Sam Shepard, Sean Penn, and Nick Nolte, which screened at the Tribeca, Rotterdam and Turin Film Festivals. Keep Your Head will produce Ethan Hawke’s The Hottest State in early 2004.

Mr. Katagas also worked as Production Supervisor for Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation and recently co-produced both Crystal (Billy Bob Thornton), debuting at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, and Winters Passing with Ed Harris, Will Farrell, and Zooey Deschanel.

Lauren Moews
Is an independent film producer and production attorney who has been working in the entertainment industry for the past seven years. Lauren founded Beverly Hills-based Tonic Films in 1999 and at the company’s helm has produced six award-winning feature films in the past three years. Lauren’s most recent achievement is the acclaimed indie horror film Cabin Fever that was theatrically released in the U.S. by Lions Gate in September 2003. Tonic Films is developing a sequel to Cabin Fever with writer/director Eli Roth and Lions Gate. Lauren’s other recent films include: Amy’s Orgasm a.k.a. Amy’s O, a romantic comedy theatrically released in August 2002 by the Independent Film Channel. Amy’s O won the Audience Choice Award at both the Santa Barbara Film Festival and the Long Beach Film Festival in 2001.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon