The Next Generation

| 13 Aug 2014 | 07:10

    Marco Ursino, [Brooklyn International Film Festival] Executive Director

    Lawrence Michael Levine Director of the feature film "Gabi on the Roof in July" (BFF 2010 Best Feature). Lawrence is a skillful, intelligent young film director with a strong new vision. His next project should be good!

    Corey Wascinski Director of the documentary "The Minutemen" (BFF 2010 Grand Prize & Best Documentary). Corey lives in Brooklyn, and his first documentary, "The Minutemen," had its World Premiere at our festival, before winning our top award. Its a great film, and his future documentary projects will be even greater.

    Jeremy Engle Director of  the short film "Mosquito" (BFF 2010 Audience Award Winner). After seeing his first short, a spot-on portrait of 1970's New York, I'm looking forward to his first feature!

    Mirko Rucnov Director of the short film "First Day of Peace" (BFF 2010). Mirko, who recently graduated from Columbia, has an amazing eye for a young film director. He is working on his first feature right now, titled Mother.

    Greg King & David Teague Directors of the documentary "Our House" (BFF 2010). Both filmmakers have a solid background in the NYC film world, and both have made several interesting films in the past. Their upcoming projects, either together or separate, are sure to be fascinating.

    Cristina Cacioppo, Film Programmer for [92Y Tribeca]

    Shoval Zohar Shoval is a package of talent: as a writer, filmmaker and actress, she has created short video pieces with characters that are desperate, fame-obsessed outsiders. The Path to Enlightment, made with Matthew Silver and commissioned by Performa, is the most exhilarating five minutes of video work that I saw this past year.

    Margarita Jimeno In her documentary about Gogol Bordello, Margarita Jimeno captured a band on the rise and a charismatic frontman who is exciting to watch regardless of whether or not you are into the music. I have seen a trailer for her new project, a short film about a swimming competition with very high stakes, and it is clear that she will prevail in creating fictitious characters that are as unforgettable.

    Lena Dunham Lena’s writing is so full of wit and charm, you could easily fashion her Twitter feed into a screenplay. Everyone is already freaking out about her new feature Tiny Furniture and eager to see what she comes up with next.

    Alex Ross Perry As a well-read cinephile, Alex puts great care and thought into his work, even doing the now unheard of thing – shooting features on 16mm film! His next feature length film, The Color Wheel, is a comedy for which he tells me “I read about fifteen Philip Roth books nonstop for nearly a year to get inspired about Jewish sexual frustration and misconduct.”

    Bohdana Smyrnova The first year we did Short Slams at 92YTribeca, Bohdana showed up to several, each time with a different film that looked like it was a buried treasure from 1960s Ukraine. Her newest film Her Seat is Vacant, which I am still waiting to see, was shot in Brooklyn with Ukrainian-speaking non-professional actors, and she already has more projects in the works.

    Mark Rosenberg, Founder of [Rooftop Films]

    [Benh Zeitlin] Brooklyn-born Benh leads the powerful Court 13 do-it-yourself filmmaking empire, a band of talented artists with the vision and passion of a fleet of Werner Herzogs. After their award-winning myth-making post-Katrina short “Glory At Sea” swept through festivals in 2008 (even Obama liked it, and hired many on the crew to make videos for his campaign), they are now back in the Bayou making their first feature, “Beast of the Southern Wild,” a furious fantasy about global warming. The feature received support from the Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund, and will hit fests and theaters and water ways in 2011. See the short at []( [ Emily Carmichael]( Emily’s “Ledo and Ix” series of comic 8-bit animations are deceptively simple, fabulously clever, and surprisingly touching. In each, two sentient old-school adventure video game characters wander a two-dimensional realm with a three-dimensional philosophy and spirit—they’re seeking a deeper life, but are hilariously bounded by the limits of their less-than-fantasy world. Emily plans to make many more of these shorts, but her keen writing and sharp visual style will also soon be applied to live-action feature-length filmmaking. See the shorts at []( [ Moon Molson]( At the time of this publication, Moon will be hours away from completing a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter to finish shooting his second short, an intense inner-city drama called “Crazy Beats Strong Every Time.” In the film, already partially supported by the Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund, a group of African-American 20-something friends encounter one man’s stepfather passed out drunk in the hallway. Lugging him away, they try to decide whether to help him, teach him a lesson, or get rid of him once and for all. Moon’s previous short “Pop Foul” won accolades at festivals world wide, he has this short coming soon (with your donations to help!) and a feature in the works.    [ Michael Galinsky & Suki Stetson Hawley]( Husband and wife Michael and Suki have been making radical shoot-from-the-hip fiction and documentary films since the mid-90s, landing films in festivals, theaters and on TV without losing their filmmaking integrity and ceaseless energy. Their latest project is “The Battle of Brooklyn,” a feature documentary about the controversial Atlantic Yards development. Without overt editorializing, the film highlights the fallacy of the developers promises, the co-opting of the neighborhood, and the immanent doom represented in eminent domain.   [ David Redmon & Ashley Sabin]( David and Ashley own work includes the fascinating cinematic dialogue “Mardi Gras: Made In China,” in which they traded video footage between breast-baring bead-wearing revelers in New Orleans and sweat-shop laboring bead-makers in China. They are currently completing a new film about the cruel trade in Russian teenage models. But David and Ashley are not only acclaimed, unflinching documentary filmmakers, they are also brave distributors of powerful otherwise-unseen films, through their indie distribution company Carnivalesque Films.  

    HONORABLE MENTIONS (from Mark Rosenberg)

    [Brian M. Cassidy & Melanie Shatzky] Filmmaking team Brian and Melanie make verité documentary essays that are engrossing and enjoyable while pushing the boundaries of the cinematic language. They are currently at work on a feature called “Patron Saints,” about life and death and the very specific place in between in a local nursing home. [ Todd Rohal]( The director of the Slamdance winner “The Guatemalan Handshake” has a production deal in place for his second oddball feature, “Scoutmasters.” [ Ian Cheney]( The director of the acclaimed “King Corn,” (where he and filmmaking partner Curt Ellis leased one acre of land in Iowa and studied American agriculture by living the modern farm life), his new documentary “The City Dark” (supported by the Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund) examines urban light pollution. [ Gillian Robespierre]( Gillian’s short “The Obvious Child” was a smart, sexy, dark comedy (starring SNL’s Jenny Slate) about a first date gone awkwardly wrong, offering an intelligent alternative look at the positive aspects of abortion.

    [Braden King]( Much-hyped and awarded in indie film and art circles, Braden’s “HERE,” a multi-media, GPS-ground-truthing, musical documentary/fiction hybrid road movie in Armenia, will be coming out in 2011.   

    [Andrew Semans]( After a handful of oddly twisted short nihilist romances, Andrew goes into production on his debut feature this fall. The film is called “Nancy, Please,” and it’s about desperately trying to get a copy of Dickens back from an ex-roommate.

    [Jeremy Saulnier] Jeremy’s first feature “Murder Party” was a horror comedy skewering (and chainsaw-ing) Williamsburg hipsters. His second feature is another dark low-budget action comedy about a down-on-his-luck grade school teacher caught in a robbery ring stealing from his students.