Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Coming: Two film screenings about wild horses

Posted By on Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 2:41 PM

  • American Mustang

For those who have followed the plight of wild horses in the American west, here are two chances to learn more about the animals, and how the Bureau of Land Management works to keep the population down, to much controversy.

(We covered it locally, here and here.)

The first, Roaming Wild, can only happen if enough people sign up to attend the screening by the end of today. Should it get the required RSVPs, it will screen Thurs., Oct. 2 at Chapel Hills 13 Theaters (1770 Briargate Blvd. #15).

This 2014 film follows a wild herd, as well as three characters with differing opinions on solutions for handling the horses. "Ultimately, this film is meant to encourage dialogue by presenting real solutions to the question of wild horse management," says its website.

The other film, American Mustang, reached its goal and will screen Wed., Sept. 24, 6 p.m. at Cinemark Tinseltown (1545 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.) Released last year, American Mustang shows footage of BLM horse round-ups, but in a way that isn't stomach churning, according to the Denver Post.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

UPDATE: Join the Cowspiracy

Posted By on Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 10:31 AM

The group organizing the Colorado Springs Cowspiracy screening has met its goal for ticket sales, meaning the film will for sure run on Thursday, Sept. 18. 

As of earlier this morning, only 23 tickets remained until the screening sells out. 


The Colorado Springs Vegan & Vegetarian Group and Vegan Society of Colorado Springs currently need the help of around 50 folks in order to bring a showing of the 90-minute documentary film Cowpsiracy: The Sustainability Secret to town. 

The groups are hosting a Tugg campaign with the hopes of a Thursday, Sept. 18 showing at 6:30 p.m. at Cinemark Carefree Circle; tickets are $12. (They need 82 tickets total sold by Sept. 11.) 

Here's the film synopsis: 
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world's leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. As eye-opening as Blackfish and as inspiring as An Inconvenient Truth, this shocking yet humorous documentary reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact large-scale factory farming has on our planet.
And the trailer:


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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meet The Rescuers

Posted By on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 3:43 PM

In our Simplicity column this week, we look at the civic and culinary act of gleaning: the scrounging of unharvested food or food destined for waste. 

As part of that story, we mention the good work of the Colorado Springs Food Rescue. I just learned that former Indy intern Jeremy Flood produced a short documentary on the group. It's called The Rescuers, and you can check it out below. 

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Barring a lawsuit, 800 wild horses to be rounded up in Wyoming

Posted By on Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Rosellen Westerhoff's "Running with Cloud," now on display at Cottonwood.
  • Rosellen Westerhoff's "Running with Cloud," now on display at Cottonwood.
In this week's issue, Bret Wright spoke to Ginger Kathrens, executive director of the Cloud Foundation, an advocacy group for wild horses. With Kathrens' help, along with that of gallery owner and artist Tracy Miller, an exhibit devoted to wild horses opened at Cottonwood Center for the Arts.

Kathrens, a local filmmaker whose efforts have appeared on Nature, will also screen her latest installment of a series of documentaries she's made following wild horses in Montana, on Wednesday, Aug. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Tim Gill Center for Public Media (315 E. Costilla St.).

As Kathrens told Wright, wild horses are regularly rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management, due to overpopulation. However, Kathrens and her kind find their methods questionable and their round-up practices cruel.

On Aug. 1, the Cloud Foundation, along with the American Wild Horses Preservation Campaign and Return to Freedom filed a lawsuit in federal court in Wyoming to block the BLM's planned round-up on Aug. 20 to gather 800 horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard area, in the southwestern quadrant of the state. They will be removed permanently.

The suit alleges the BLM violated the National Environmental Protection Act, the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.

“The BLM’s decision to move forward without any opportunity for public review or comment on such a drastic action is a blatant slap in the face to the American public and the Democratic process,” Kathrens says in a press release. “Losing these wild horse families so that private livestock interests can continue to make money at taxpayer expense is truly disgusting.”

Linked in the release (below) is an 2013 in-depth article from The Atlantic about this particular population in the Checkerboard, and, how, as the article states, "The Consent Decree reads like a capitulation by the feds. It does nothing to protect the horses or to recognize that the ranchers receive enormous financial benefits from the below-market leasing rates on public land."

Or, to put it more bluntly, how "the Department of the Interior sold out America's wild horses."

Lawsuit Filed to Halt BLM’s Scheduled Wild Horse Roundup on the Wyoming Checkerboard

Scheduled roundup would permanently remove all wild horses on 1.2 million acres.

CHEYENNE, WY (August 1, 2014) – The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), The Cloud Foundation, and Return to Freedom today filed a lawsuit in federal court in Wyoming to block the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from rounding up over 800 wild horses from the Adobe Town, Salt Wells and Divide Basin Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in the southwestern part of the state.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court of Wyoming by the public interest law firm Meyer Glitzenstein and Crystal, alleges that the BLM violated the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act (Wild Horse Act), and the Administrative Procedure Act, by authorizing the permanent removal of hundreds of wild horses from public and private lands within these three HMAs, known as the Wyoming Checkerboard. BLM has authorized this large-scale roundup of wild horses from public land in Wyoming without conducting any environmental analysis, without engaging the public during the decision-making process, and without making certain statutorily required determinations under the Wild Horse Act.

“BLM’s plan to roundup over 800 wild horses from Wyoming is an egregious violation of federal law and established procedures for public input,” said Suzanne Roy, AWHPC director. “In proceeding with this roundup, the agency is blatantly placing ranching special interests over the interests of the American public and our federally-protected wild horses on public land.”

“The BLM’s decision to move forward without any opportunity for public review or comment on such a drastic action is a blatant slap in the face to the American public and the Democratic process,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. “Losing these wild horse families so that private livestock interests can continue to make money at taxpayer expense is truly disgusting.”

“If this roundup is allowed to proceed, it will be the beginning of the end for half of Wyoming’s remaining wild horses,” said Neda DeMayo, founder and president of Return to Freedom. “This is just another complacent surrender of the BLM to pressure from livestock ranchers, a convenient tactic to proceed with wild horse eradication.”

Carol Walker, plaintiff in the case and Wild Horse Freedom Federation board member said,” BLM is primed and ready to annihilate wild horse families in the Adobe Town HMA despite the fact that the vast majority of these horses do not even live in the Checkerboard.” The noted photographer and author went on to say, “the horses would not have a chance if this action goes forward. They’ll be destined to a life of incarceration and the American public will lose an iconic symbol of freedom and independence.”

BLM is justifying its decision by claiming the agency is required under a consent decree with the Rock Springs Grazing Association to conduct this roundup. This consent decree resulted from a lawsuit that the Interior Department invited and then settled by capitulating to the rancher’s demands – the elimination of wild horses from the Wyoming checkerboard. Nothing in that agreement, however, authorizes BLM to violate the multiple federal statutes and regulations that govern the permanent removal of federally protected wild horses from public land.

AWHPC and The Cloud Foundation were intervenors in the Rock Springs Grazing Association litigation that resulted in the Consent Decree, and have been fighting BLM’s implementation of the decree since that time. The groups are asking the court to stop the roundup, which is scheduled to begin on August 20.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

'Korengal' screening on Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 11:45 AM


This week’s interview with director Sebastian Junger included information on a screening of Korengal at which two local soldiers who appeared in the film will be doing a question-and-answer session.

Although the film will still open today, the Q&A portion has been pushed back to this Saturday, June 12, at 7:15 p.m. at the Cinemark Tinseltown (1545 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd, 576-5082).

You can find information on all showtimes here and read the Indy’s interview with the filmmaker here.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Funny short from Indie Spirit Film Fest alum available free online

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM

In the spring of 2012, I reviewed a handful of films ahead of that year's Indie Spirit Film Festival

One of them was Missed Connections, a likable "anti-rom-com" as I called it. The filmmakers, who I later met at one of the fest's social gatherings, said they very much liked that categorization, as they clearly lead with an off-color sense of humor and mid-level vulgarity, certainly not seeking a cloyingly sappy tone to that twisted love story. 

I just heard from the same crew yesterday that a new short film from director Eric Kissack is now available, having won the audience award for Best Short Film at the recent LA Film Fest. A few Missed Connections actors also appear in The Gunfighter, and it was co-cast by Missed Connections co-star Dorien Davies.  

Basically a spoof constructed entirely around a "bloodthirsty" omniscient narrator that all the characters can hear, it's well-shot and quite humorously written, and totally worth about nine minutes of your time. 

Check it out here (in full-screen mode, of course):

The Gunfighter from Eric Kissack on Vimeo.

'Where in the hell is that voice coming from?!' - COURTESY ERIC KISSACK
  • Courtesy Eric Kissack
  • 'Where in the hell is that voice coming from?!'
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Friday, May 30, 2014

Eric Schlosser to attend Hanna Ranch screening at Ivywild

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 1:15 PM

  • Hanna Ranch film
In this week's paper, Anna Palmer writes about the new documentary film coming to the Springs for the first time this weekend: Hanna Ranch.

Directed by Mitch Dickman, the lauded film follows the story of this Pikes Peak region ranch and its struggles with sustainable ranching, family feuding, and the reality of living downstream from an exploding Colorado Springs.

You can read about the film here, and then see it tomorrow at Ivywild School. Dickman, along with executive producer Karl Kister, director of photography Zachary Armstrong and members of the Hanna family will be in attendance, and answering questions following the film. Fellow executive producer Eric Schlosser will also be there.

Schlosser, as many well know, is the noted journalist and writer behind the books Fast Food Nation (in which he featured Kirk Hanna), Reefer Madness and Chew on This, as well as an executive producer and co-author of the Fast Food Nation film.

The initial screening, with the film crew, will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday;  tickets are $8. Ivywild will screen the film at least once a day through June 6. (Click here for more details.)
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Friday, January 17, 2014

Local filmmaker Sarah Lotfi to speak at U.N. event

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Later this month, Sarah Lotfi, the extraordinarily gifted filmmaker from Colorado Springs, will speak in Geneva, Switzerland as part of the United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organization Open Innovation: Collaborative Projects and the Future of Knowledge conference.

Lotfi, along with her team, will present "Open Collaborations in Independent Film" at this conference, examining "the processes of collaboration open to independent filmmakers in technology, business models, and financing," according to the press release. Then she'll screen her most recent film, Menschen.
Lotfi on the set of Menschen. - ALEXIS EVELYN
  • Alexis Evelyn
  • Lotfi on the set of Menschen.

Lotfi, who is 25, was approached after conference organizers watched the 2012 film, according to the release. Menschen follows a German company at the end of World War II that has taken in a boy with a developmental disability, played in real life by an actor with Down syndrome. Lotfi is the keynote speaker, but will be presenting with Anastasia Cummings, one of Menschen's producers and a successful woman in the filmmaking field, as well as Ben Sullivan, David Grauberger and Jeremiah Delasio, who work in the state film scene.

It's a tremendous honor for Lotfi, as WIPO is one of the U.N.'s 17 specialized agencies. Other speakers at the conference include architect Rem Koolhaas, film historian Kevin Brownlow and actress Iréne Jacob.

The conference runs Jan. 22-23, with Lotfi's presentation taking place the first day at 4 p.m. It's free and open to the public (register here), should you have the means to cross the pond.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

First Fridays go silent ... film, that is

Posted By on Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Silent ... but deadly ... - ©ISTOCK.COM/KRUS
  • ©
  • Silent ... but deadly ...
Last week, Silent Film Fridays launched at the City Auditorium. The brand-new venture will bring a screening of a silent film with accompaniment by the Aud's Mighty Wurlitzer organ — exactly the way it used to be done.

The program kicked off with a Laurel and Hardy double-feature performance, screening Big Business and Their Purple Moment. Future films have not yet been announced, says Lara Holman Garritano of the Downtown Partnership, but they will be those of silent era stars like Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Lon Chaney, naturally. They'll occur every first Friday through next May, starting at 8 p.m. and running about an hour. A $5 donation will be collected, but those 17 and under are welcome for free.

Silent Film Fridays was organized by the Downtown Partnership with the city and the Pikes Peak Area Theater Organ Society), funded with monies from Colorado Creative Industries, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Boettcher Foundation as part of its Creative District programming. (Downtown was named a "prospective creative district" by CCI earlier this year.)

Read the press release below for more on the Mighty Wurlitzer and its reassembly in the Aud:

Silent Film Fridays launches Friday, December 6th at City Auditorium

New program pairs classic silent films with live “soundtrack” performed on historic Mighty Wurlitzer.
The film is silent. Not so, the Mighty Wurlitzer.

DOWNTOWN COLORADO SPRINGS – A new film series will launch Friday, December 6th at City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa Street at 8p.m. Screenings will continue monthly on the first Friday of each month through May 2014.

Experience silent films how they used to be done. Back in the day, the “pre-talkies” screened with live musical accompaniment. Huge pipe organs replicated orchestral music and movie sound effects, all against the whir of the film and projector reels. Silent Film Fridays presents a series of film classics with live music performed on downtown’s historic Mighty Wurlitzer by the Pikes Peak Area Theater Organ Society.

“Arts and culture play a central role in the health and vitality of Downtown Colorado Springs, and downtown has so many one-of-a-kind cultural experiences,” says Susan Edmondson, President and CEO for Downtown Partnership, continuing, “We’re thrilled to offer a chance to wonder at the magic of the silent film era in this way.”

Friday’s event presents a Laurel and Hardy double feature, with the holiday comedy Big Business (1929) and Their Purple Moment (1928). The movie “soundtrack” will be performed live by Las Vegas-based concert organist John Ledwon. Ledwon has performed nationally and internationally, and has served as President and Board Member for the American Theatre Organ Society. For the past 15 years, Ledwon has been an organist for Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

Now housed in the City Auditorium, the “Mighty Wurlitzer” was originally installed in 1927 in the Burns Opera House. When the Opera House was slated for demolition in 1973, members of the Pikes Peak Area Theater Organ Society spent thousands of hours to save the organ. After carefully dismantling and removing the organ, members then rebuilt it for installation in the City Auditorium in 1979.

Silent Film Fridays is presented as a partnership between Downtown Colorado Springs, the City of Colorado Springs City Auditorium, and the Pikes Peak Area Theater Organ Society. Support comes in part from Colorado Creative Industries, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Boettcher Foundation as part of downtown’s Creative District programming.

This month’s screening is timed to coincide with First Friday Downtown, which features free gallery openings, artist receptions, and performances from 5 to 8 p.m. at more than 20 venues on the first Friday of the month. Admission to Silent Film Fridays is a suggested donation of $5, with free admission for those 17 and under. Beer, wine, and popcorn will be available for purchase at the hour long event.


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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Music and the Holocaust

Posted By on Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 1:10 PM

  • Sharpner / Shutterstock

"Music is God. In difficult times, you feel it especially."

This observation comes from Alice Herz-Sommer, the 110-year-old Holocaust survivor and pianist who's the subject of the documentary The Lady in Number 6. It's a sentiment many of us share, although the difficult times she went through are hard for most of us to even imagine.

Watching the short excerpt below, you'll be hard-pressed not to tear up repeatedly. You'll also find Herz-Sommer to be a truly inspiring woman, one whose devotion to music — she played all Chopin's etudes by memory while interned at the Theresienstadt concentration camp — is confirmed by her ability, even now, to sit down at the piano and play beautifully.

Four years ago, when I saw Gil Scott-Heron perform one of his last concerts, his health was failing and his between-song comments were barely discernible. But when he'd sit down at the keyboard, his playing was perfect, his baritone voice as clear as ever.

Perhaps more than any art form, music and its therapeutic qualities continue to intrigue scientists, even as its aesthetics entrance musicians and their listeners. We are lucky to have it.  

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

More on Inocente, art and Oscar star, and the upcoming City We Love

Posted By on Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Inocente in her signature make-up.
  • Inocente in her signature make-up.
For most of her life, Inocente Izucar kept her possessions in garbage bags. Never unpacking meant that she, along with her mother and three brothers, could move at a moment’s notice.

From homeless shelter to homeless shelter, from sleeping in the park to sleeping on the floor in a schoolmate’s house, her family’s transience through San Diego should have snubbed out any aspiration of stability.

It should have discouraged creative output. It should have made her sensitive to the dark colors of the world. Should have. In the Academy Award-winning documentary Inocente, a film crew follows a then 15-year-old undocumented immigrant as she defies homelessness through her art. Each of her canvases brims with the optimism of bright colors, of playful brushstrokes and fantastic creatures.

Dream Centers of Colorado Springs will host a screening of the documentary as part of their City We Love fundraising event at the Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, Friday,  Aug. 30.

Dream Centers, an extension of New Life Church, is a nonprofit established in 2011 dedicated to aiding uninsured mothers and their children. It recently developed Mary’s Home, a new one-year program centered on health and security that provides shelter in a three-story apartment building.

Matthew Ayers, Dream Center executive director and City We Love organizer, says the film ties seamlessly into the vision of his nonprofit.

“Every single main theme that is running through this film is in alignment with the Dream Centers mission — the dreaming, holding on to hope. And these things, these things often have the weight to carry us out of the difficult situations and circumstances we face,” Ayers says.

City We Love will consist of three main parts. First, a silent auction will showcase artwork and photography from more than 30 local artists. Second, attendees will be informed about Dream Centers’ work and future plans. Third, Inocente will be screened. Following the film, Inocente herself will take questions from the audience. She will also have signed prints for sale.
Filmmakers Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine with Inocente accepting their Oscars. - A.M.P.A.S.
  • A.M.P.A.S.
  • Filmmakers Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine with Inocente accepting their Oscars.

Now 19, Inocente no longer keeps her belongings in garbage bags. Her clothes are hung up in her closet, shoes are lined up beside her door, and her paintings line the walls of her San Diego-area apartment. With the income she generates from selling paintings and prints, she is able to support herself.

Kathryn Stephens, director of development for A Reason To Survive (ARTS)  — the organization that discovered Inocente at 13 — says that ever since the Oscar win, Inocente has blossomed.

“She has become a wonderful speaker. She knows that she gives hope to a lot of people, and she reminds us of ways to cope in a healthy, productive way.”

You can find tickets for City We Love here, or watch all of Inocente, for free, here.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

UPDATE: Visiting CC professor wins Emmy for WordGirl

Posted By on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 2:42 PM

And it's Eric Shaw for the win!

At last night's 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, Shaw and colleagues Tom Martin, Jack Ferraiolo, Jayne Hamil and Ryan Raddatz walked away with the award for Outstanding Writing in Animation for WordGirl.

A big congrats to them all.


Earlier this week, Colorado College announced that visiting film studies professor Eric Shaw has been nominated for an "Outstanding Writing in Animation" Emmy Award.

Shaw is currently the lead writer on PBS Kids' WordGirl, and has previously written for SpongeBob SquarePants and several other children's shows.

From CC's release, here are more details:

Eric Shaw

... Shaw, a resident of Colorado Springs, taught Beginning Screenwriting during Block 4 last year. He enjoys teaching new writers because “it's what we can offer to other writers: read their work, critique them, and give a great set of notes. It’s an obligation that, all too often, isn't fulfilled,” he says. Shaw also has ... guest lectured at universities around the world, from UCLA to the New York Institute of Technology to the United Kingdom.

The nomination “really means a lot to me because I feel a special connection to the series, the people I worked with, and to where we produced the show: Watertown, Massachusetts,” he said.

“WordGirl” is a children’s animated television series for children ages 6 to 11, designed to teach about the expansive English language and its vocabulary. Produced by Soup2Nuts, the animation unit of Scholastic Entertainment for PBS Kids, the show began as a series of shorts and was spun off into a 30-minute episodic series in September 2007.

“WordGirl, ” which also is nominated for “Outstanding Children’s Animated Program,” is up against Nickelodeon series such as “Penguins of Madagascar,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “Robot and Monster,” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” The 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be presented on June 16.


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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Frack war tonight in Boulder

Posted By on Wed, May 22, 2013 at 3:41 PM

FrackNation Gasland

If for some reason you can't make (or wait for) tomorrow night's screening of Gasland Part II at UCCS, you could always leave for Boulder. Like, now-ish.

The town's hosting Fracking Documentary Wars, this evening at 6:30, at both the Boulder Marriott and UC Boulder campus. FrackNation will screen at one venue, preceding a Q&A with filmmaker Phelim McAleer. And Gasland Part II will screen at the other at the same time, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Josh Fox.

Now, it seems to me that the town missed a rare chance to have the filmmakers actually debate in person, rather than split audiences who either see one or the other. Most ideal, were time not a factor, would have perhaps been a back-to-back screening followed by a short debate, then dual Q&A session.

But hey, I'm no event planner and who knows if they guys would have agreed.

Anyway, from a brief press release, here's a little more info on how it all apparently came together:

McAleer said he was invited to screen his film after local groups learned Gasland 2 was going to be screened. Fox's previous film, the first Gasland, has been heavily criticized with claims that he misrepresented and exaggerated the risks of fracking. Fox has been accused of spreading alarmism and scare stories.

McAleer said the local Boulder groups who invited him were concerned that there should be an alternative point of view in town on the night Gasland 2 was being screened.

"Affordable, safe, and abundant energy is an issue that affects the lives of women daily," said Debbie Brown, Director of Colorado Women's Alliance. "We're proud to offer the community a chance to see FrackNation, a bold, well-researched documentary that addresses the scare tactics frequently used in today's energy debate."

McAleer said he was delighted to bring FrackNation to Boulder.

"I think FrackNation's journalism stands up against the scare stories of Gasland 2," said McAleer. "Now the people of Boulder will be able to make up their own minds."

FrackNation, which debunks many of the major scares of the anti-fracking movement, has been praised by the New York Times as "meticulously researched" and "provocative"

According to Variety-the showbusiness bible- FrackNation "makes a good case against [Gasland]" and "debunks the famous Gasland scene of a fracking 'victim' setting his tap water on fire."

FrackNation was funded through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter with 3,305 backers donating $212,265. Gasland 2 received corporate funding from HBO, the cable TV channel.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Learn the art of documentary style with PBS filmmaker at FAC

Posted By on Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 2:21 PM

You might recall the name Tom Shepard from J. Adrian Stanley's feature on Scout's Honor this past February.

The Colorado Springs native turned successful San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker has earned Sundance Film Festival awards for his works that screened nationally on PBS.

Films like The Grove, Knocking and Whiz Kids.

Beginning May 1, and running six Wednesdays, 6 to 9 p.m., through June 15, Shepard will return to the Springs to teach "Introduction to Documentary Film" at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's Bemis School of Art.

The class will cost $254 ($239 members) and here's its synopsis:

This six-week seminar taught by the Sundance Award-Winning PBS filmmaker Tom Shepard introduces students to the history of and current trends in documentary as well as all stages of documentary filmmaking: from conceiving and shaping ideas, pitching and story treatment, production and post-production, and distribution and outreach, including lectures on the business and fundraising of documentaries. In addition to a weekly one-hour lecture, we will screen and discuss one new documentary film each week, highlighting specific techniques and approaches used by different filmmakers. Discussion will focus on questions of narrative strategies, access, ethics and filmmaker/subject rapport. Finally, students can, by appointment, schedule a private consultation with the instructor to discuss their own ideas for making a documentary, advice in creating a strong film treatment and proposal and concrete tips for further development and funding of their projects.

"I'm glad to be bringing this program to Colorado Springs as I think there is a renewed interest in documentary filmmaking these days," Shepard wrote in an email.

"I'm hoping if this is a successful venture, I could make it a regular feature of my visits back to Colorado Springs every Summer. And perhaps it could eventually lead to a larger class/workshop and perhaps even a regular documentary screening series or festival."

Tom Shepard
  • The award-winning filmmaker in Scotland.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The latest local film that wants your money

Posted By on Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 9:46 AM

"This movie is literally where paranormal thrillers meet stoner comedies."

And should the Kickstarter campaign lock down a requested $200,000, the filmmakers plan to shoot the majority of Out There... between Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Woodland Park.

Here's the pitch video if you care for the visual overview first:

As writer/director Bonné Bartron explains in that pitch, she's got some respectable Hollywood names on board for both sides of the camera, and she claims it has already been slated for international distribution.

The Kickstarter page elaborates that the project had already been funded by two previous producers, "but we've hit a couple of bumps along the way." One of those being a desire by those producers to shoot the film in California instead of Colorado, which was a deal-breaker for Bartron.

Anyway, by now, perhaps via our earlier foray into crowdfunding wins and woes, you're familiar with this whole Kickstarter saga for hopeful filmmakers.

If you find Out There... worthy of a few of your dollars — be it for your affinity for the lore of area cattle mutilations, UFO stories or simply stoner culture or a desire to see more Colorado-based filmmaking — then send some monetary love its way.

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