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Nancy Buirski on Exploring Hidden Stories in the Civil Rights Movement in “The Rape of Recy Taylor”

The Rape of Recy Taylor

Nancy Buirski’s writing, directing, and producing credits include “By Sidney Lumet,” “Afternoon of a Faun,” and the the Oscar shortlisted, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning “The Loving Story.” She founded and ran the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and is the photographer and author of “Earth Angels: Migrant Children in America.”

The Rape of Recy Taylor” made its world premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival and will make its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 1.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Nb: This is a film about courage and nobility, about standing up for oneself, speaking truth to power, and power verging on evil. It is the story of Recy Taylor, a black woman who accused six white men of rape knowing she’d be putting her life in utter danger. She knew what these men did was wrong, and there was no shame for her as a survivor of their despicable act. In those years, she was not alone. As a teenager, Rosa Parks talked a white man out of raping her, then devoted her life to getting justice for women like Mrs. Taylor. This was years before Parks’ famous bus boycott!

This is a film about women’s crusade to protect their bodies and their dignity — no different from today — and in doing so becoming the very foundation of the Civil Rights Movement. These crimes were and are a form of terrorism, but unlike other highly visible forms of terrorism, white men raping black women was a secret. Considered “unspeakable,” these crimes were not spoken of publicly nor reported. These stories are hidden stories.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Nb: A remarkable book by Danielle L. McGuire, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance — A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power.” Recy Taylor’s story begins McGuire’s history of these incredible women.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Nb: I want them to remember a brave woman named Recy Taylor, who so many forgot or tried to silence in her lifetime. I’d love us all to give voice to women with such stories, then and now. I want women who have survived these atrocities to feel inspired by Recy Taylor and her courage.

Rape is universal, regardless of color, gender, religion, or nationality. It is a crime and needs to be recognized as such. No one asks a victim of robbery or assault if he or she was drinking.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Nb: Marrying the very personal, dramatic story of Recy Taylor with the epic meaning of it all. The ramifications of Recy Taylor’s “speaking up” are infinite; they continue to reverberate today. How does a filmmaker tell such a searing, emotional story and deliver the broader ideas at the same time?

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Nb: This film is supported by generous funders who believed in Recy’s story, and communicated their belief through equity and grants. We’d not be where we are today if not for co-producer Transform Films, the remarkable Artemis Rising, Amy Tiemann, Mark Trustin, Barbara Dobkin, Matador Content, Lauren Embry, Derrick Harkins, and others.

On the creative end I’m indebted to Dp Rex Miller and Blaire Johnson for their thrilling work in the field, providing me and my editor Anthony Ripoli with b-roll and provocative drone images. This helped me tell this sensitive story without recreations, which felt out of place here.

Our gratitude to Kino Lorber and to Gina Telaroli who helped locate valuable race films, lending the story a biblical resonance.

A shout out to our marvelous producers — no way this happens without Claire Chandler, Beth Hubbard, Susan Margolin, and Vanessa Martino, and advisers Danielle McGuire, Crystal Feimster, Laurens Grant, Susie Ruth Powell, Sam Pollard, and Jacquelyn Serwer.

Thanks to the amazing Cynthia Erivo for her Rosa Parks reading and to Randall Poster for help on the music.

Our deepest gratitude to Recy Taylor and her family, especially Robert Corbitt and the late Alma Daniels.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at the New York Film Festival?

Nb: This is a coming home. I screened my second documentary, “Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq,” at Nyff, but it’s a homecoming in other respects. I grew up in Manhattan and attended this festival over many years, well before I knew I’d make movies. It laid the foundation for my appreciation of cinema — it’s where I discovered Truffaut, Scorsese, Godard, and so many more. I might not be a filmmaker today if not for the New York Film Festival.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Nb: Best advice: Make it personal and don’t read reviews.

Worst advice: Don’t read reviews and don’t spend your own money. One can learn from reviews — good and bad — as long as it’s not too dispiriting and taken too seriously. And one must spend one’s own money — within reason — if only to get started. You must believe enough in yourself to invest in yourself. It is not a matter of pride.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Nb: Do what you can to help other women and keep making your movies. Don’t make what you think others will like or will get into festivals or will be well reviewed. Make what you believe in. And only look at the good stuff. This is advice I’d give anyone, not just women.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Nb: Really too many to name and too hard to choose. Forgive me.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Nb: I am optimistic. Even if the changes are insincere or politically motivated, there seems to be an effort to hire more women. If the numbers don’t reflect this, the zeitgeist seems to. That’s alright with me, because as more women are visibly making movies the perception will change and it may, just may, start to feel normal.

Nancy Buirski on Exploring Hidden Stories in the Civil Rights Movement in “The Rape of Recy Taylor” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

‘Detroit’: Martha Reeves, Otis Williams, Questlove on Story Behind Film’s Music

‘Detroit’: Martha Reeves, Otis Williams, Questlove on Story Behind Film’s Music
On a sweltering evening in July 1967, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas were about to perform their new single, “Jimmy Mack,” at a hometown show at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. The group was on a roll, with a string of Top 10 singles including “Dancing in the Street,” “Nowhere to Run” and “Heat Wave.” Yet the trio wasn’t allowed to perform its latest song.

“I was very excited,” recalls Reeves in an interview with Variety. “However, I never got a chance to sing it because [a stagehand] beckoned to me and told me to tell the audience that there’s a curfew because a riot has broken out, and to ask the patrons to leave peacefully. We went outside, and tanks were up and down Woodward Avenue in front of the Fox. It was panic — panic.”

The moment inspired a key scene in “Detroit,” the Kathryn Bigelow-directed retelling of the murder of three black men by police at the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Silence Arrives on Digital and Blu-Ray This March

  • Cinelinx
Martin Scorcese's powerful religious film, following the Catholic church's mission to instill Christianity in Fuedal Japan, Silence is coming out this March! Come inside to find out how you can get your hands on it early.

One of the biggest snubs of this year's Academy Awards, Silence, is making its way to digital and blu-ray, merely 3 months after being on the big screen. The Martin Scorsese religious feature, starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, and Liam Neeson will arrive on Blu-Ray on March 28th, but for audiences who can't wait that long the Digital HD version will be available March 14th.

Understandably, there aren't many added features for the Blu-Ray/Digital copy of Silence. If you haven't seen the movie, there really isn't much of a need for an alternate ending, deleted scenes, bloopers, or anything of the sort. Instead, the only new content will stem from a
See full article at Cinelinx »

Afm: Magnolia Pictures Buys Mick Rock Documentary ‘Shot!’

Afm: Magnolia Pictures Buys Mick Rock Documentary ‘Shot!’
Magnolia Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to British film and music video director Barnaby Clay’s documentary “Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock.”

The movie, which premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, chronicles the life of rock photographer and artist Mick Rock, who captured David Bowie, Queen, Blondie, Iggy Pop, Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, and Lou Reed with his camera lens. Magnolia is targeting a 2017 theatrical release.

The pic is financed and produced by Vice Documentary Films and Straight Up Films, and co-produced by RockEye Productions. Magnolia Head of Worldwide Sales Scott Veltri is representing the film for Magnolia International at the American Film Market and all international rights are available.

“The number of iconic photos that Mick Rock has taken and his access to the most compelling figures of our time is staggering,” Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles said. “This film beautifully realizes his journey.”

The movie was
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘La La Land’ Scores Three Hollywood Music in Media Nominations

‘La La Land’ Scores Three Hollywood Music in Media Nominations
La La Land” has scored a leading three nominations for the Hollywood Music in Media Awards for Justin Hurwitz’ score and two songs performed by stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.

Stone, who plays an actress in the film, performed “Audition,” written by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Gosling performed “City of Stars,” also written by Hurwitz, Pasek and Paul.

Other nominees for the Original Score award are Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka for “Lion”; Henry Jackman for “Birth of a Nation”; Mica Levi for “Jackie”; Nicholas Britell for “Moonlight”; and Rupert Gregson-Williams for “Hacksaw Ridge.”

The other four nominees for Original Song are “Dancing with Your Shadow” for “Po,” written by Burt Bacharach, performed by Sheryl Crow; “Down With Mary” for “Too Late,” written & performed by John Hawkes; “Rules Don’t Apply” for “Rules Don’t Apply, written by Eddie Adkins and Lorraine Feather, performed by Lily Collins
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Lee Daniels to deliver SXSW 2017 keynote

  • ScreenDaily
Lee Daniels to deliver SXSW 2017 keynote
Organisers have announced the second round of featured speakers at the festival in Austin, Texas.

Daniels is best known for The Butler, Precious: Based On The Novel By Sapphire and the hit TV series Empire. His new television series, Star, will premiere on Fox early next year.

Featured speakers include Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, academic Kate Crawford, Ford executive chairman Bill Ford and car technology expert and journalist Doug Newcomb, author Peggy Orenstein, music supervisor Randall Poster and businessman and engineer Vivek Ranadivé.

The Featured session, Product Mavericks: Top Tips from Women Who Build, will give audiences a chance to hear from Merci Grace, who leads the growth team at Slack, Hillary For America Cto Stephanie Hannon, Lyft vp of product Tali Rapaport, and director of product at Facebook, Fidji Simo.

“The SXSW Conference is designed to give creatives the tools they need to achieve their goals, and what better way than bringing together a diverse
See full article at ScreenDaily »

South By Southwest Announces Lee Daniels As Keynote Speaker For 2017

  • Indiewire
South By Southwest Announces Lee Daniels As Keynote Speaker For 2017
Today, South by Southwest has announced its second wave of Keynote and Featured speakers for its 2017 event. The Film Keynote this year is Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels, best known for his films “Precious,” “The Butler,” and the hit Fox TV series “Empire.” The two other previously announced Keynote speakers are Jill Soloway, creator of Amazon series “Transparent,” and Jennifer Doudna, co-inventor of Crispr-Cas9, a groundbreaking new technology for editing genes.

Read More: South By Southwest Announces Select Speakers For 2017

“We are particularly excited about Lee Daniels as Film Keynote for his unparalleled talent, passion, continued experimentation, and career evolution,” says Janet Pierson, Head of Film. “He’s been the driving force behind so much extraordinary work in a number of ways. His artistic leaps and risk-taking are exactly what we love to celebrate at SXSW.”

The other 2017 Featured speakers are from many fields, including tech, music, film, television, business, and journalism.
See full article at Indiewire »

SXSW 2017: Lee Daniels, Cheryl Boone Isaacs Set as Speakers

SXSW 2017: Lee Daniels, Cheryl Boone Isaacs Set as Speakers
The South by Southwest Conference and Festivals has tapped Lee Daniels as its Film Keynote speaker and Cheryl Boone Isaacs as one of its featured speakers during the March 10-19 event.

Daniels directed “The Butler,” “Precious” and “Monster’s Ball” and co-created, executive produces and directs Fox’s series “Empire.” His new television series, “Star,” will premiere on Fox in early 2017.

Boone Isaacs is the current president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Other featured speakers for the 31st iteration of the festival, announced Tuesday, include Kate Crawford, Ford Motor Co. chief Bill Ford & Doug Newcomb, Parag Khanna, Kimbal Musk, Peggy Orenstein, music supervisor Randall Poster, Vivek Ranadivé and television host Rachael Ray.

The featured session “Product Mavericks: Top Tips from Women Who Build” was also unveiled with Merci Grace, who leads the growth team at Slack; Stephanie Hannon, Chief Technology Officer at Hillary for America; Tali Rapaport,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Review: Vinyl: The Complete First Season

  • Comicmix
My uncle works in the music business and his heyday was back in the 1970s, so when he recognized the music industry portrayed in HBO’s Vinyl, I took that as an endorsement. Back then, I was buying a new album almost every week (or so it seemed) and was expanding my tastes thanks to the discovery of FM radio. At the time, I never really thought about the business side of music but that came later.

Viewers today can watch people struggle for a career thanks to American Idol and more recently Fox’s Empire. Vinyl, though, takes a look back when sex, drugs, and rock & roll was a lifestyle, not a catchphrase. This was an era that saw popular music splinter every few years so rock begat heavy metal, California rock, and god help us, disco. All of which got rejected simultaneously with the rise of punk and
See full article at Comicmix »

Listen to the Groovy Full Soundtrack For Shane Black’s ‘The Nice Guys’

When it comes to studio features, there are few we’re anticipating more this year than Shane Black‘s return to the crime drama/comedy with The Nice Guys. Starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, its red band trailer was a complete delight and today we have the groovy soundtrack from the ’70s-set film.

Revealed over at iam8bit, they’ve shared details on its double LP release, which comes with a 3D centerfold, a pin-up poster, liner notes, and more. Perfectly setting the tone, the 15-track release features Bee Gees, The Temptations, Kiss, Kool & The Gang, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kiss, The Band, and more. Thanks to our friend Drew Morton, who’s put together a playlist on Spotify with all the tracks.

Get listening below as we await the film, which is rumored to stop by Cannes before it opens in May:

1. Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone – The Temptations
See full article at The Film Stage »

2016 Sundance Film Festival Awards Winners revealed

Sundance Film Festival Awards Winners 2016 – The Birth Of A Nation

Well, Sundance has finally drawn to a close for another year and last night, the Sundance Film Festival Awards Winners were announced in Park City, Utah.

We’ve listed the Sundance Film Festival Awards Winners below, including an official synopsis supplied by the organisers, but the clear winner and toast of the festival this year was Nate Parker’s The Birth Of A Nation, the film that was picked up for a record-breaking $17.5 million earlier on this week. ‘Birth Of A Nation’ scored The U.S. Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award.

Elsewhere, Asif Kapadia presented the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary to Sonita, a film about an 18-year-old who discovers that her family plans to sell her to an unknown husband for $9,000. The film also picked up Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary. The Audience Award: U.S.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

‘Compton,’ ‘Carol,’ ‘Furious 7’ Win at Music Supervisors Awards

The Guild of Music Supervisors proved not too white with such fare as “Straight Outta Compton,” “Empire” and “Bessie” — all chronicling the African-American experience through music — claiming top honors Thursday night at the Theater at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

The sixth annual affair, each more widely attended than the last — the Ace’s reconstituted ’20s-era gothic movie palace being its most lavish venue yet — represented another display of camaraderie between this coterie of gatekeepers, curators and rights procurers, and the studio and network music heads, publishers, composers and lyricists and their handlers who court their favors.

As one presenter said, “a meaningful synch can break a band,” hinting at stakes involved for emerging artists.

A swinging jazz trio in the lobby prior to the ceremony gave an analog charm to the proceedings while performers during included Andra Day (song nominee for “Meru”).

In addition to “Compton” in
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Compton,’ ‘Carol,’ ‘Furious 7’ Win at Music Supervisors Awards

The Guild of Music Supervisors proved not too white with such fare as “Straight Outta Compton,” “Empire” and “Bessie” — all chronicling the African-American experience through music — claiming top honors Thursday night at the Theater at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

The sixth annual affair, each more widely attended than the last — the Ace’s reconstituted ’20s-era gothic movie palace being its most lavish venue yet — represented another display of camaraderie between this coterie of gatekeepers, curators and rights procurers, and the studio and network music heads, publishers, composers, songwriters and their handlers who court their favors.

As one presenter said, “a meaningful synch can break a band,” hinting at stakes involved for emerging artists.

A swinging jazz trio in the lobby prior to the ceremony gave an analog charm to the proceedings while performers during included Andra Day (song nominee for “Meru”).

In addition to “Compton” in the
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Jon Hamm, Shane Carruth, Lena Dunham and More Selected for 2016 Sundance Film Festival Juries

  • Indiewire
Jon Hamm, Shane Carruth, Lena Dunham and More Selected for 2016 Sundance Film Festival Juries
Read More: 9 Hidden Gems from the 2016 Sundance Lineup The Sundance Institute is putting the final touches on the 2016 Sundance Film Festival by revealing the 23 jury members whose duty it will be to award 27 prizes at the end of the event. The festival takes place January 21-31, with the awards ceremony, hosted by Taika Waititi, being live streamed online on January 30. According to the festival, the six juries screen all films in their respective sections and jointly decide which standout artistic and story elements to recognize with prizes. Festival audiences, meanwhile, get the chance to vote for their favorite films, with five Audience Awards being given in total. Below are all of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival jury members.  U.S. Documentary Jury Simon Kilmurry Jill Lepore Shola Lynch Louie Psihoyos Amy Zeiring U.S. Dramatic Jury Lena Dunham Jon Hamm Avy Kaufman Franklin Leonard Randall Poster World Cinematic Dramatic Jury Mark Adams Fernanda Solorzano Apichatpong.
See full article at Indiewire »

Jon Hamm, Lena Dunham, Keegan-Michael Key Tapped for Sundance Juries

Jon Hamm, Lena Dunham, Keegan-Michael Key Tapped for Sundance Juries
The Sundance Institute has selected Jon Hamm, Lena Dunham, Keegan-Michael Key and Kerry Bishé for its competition juries at the upcoming festival, Variety has learned.

Other notable jury members include “The Cove” director Louie Psihoyos, “The Hunting Ground” director Amy Ziering, Black List founder Franklin Leonard and “Amy” director Asif Kapadia.

The festival opens Jan. 21 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. The winners will be announced Jan. 30 from the six juries along with five audience awards.

Filmmaker and Sundance Institute alum Taika Waititi, director of “What We Do in Shadows,” will host the awards ceremony. Waititi will be premiering his latest film “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” at the festival and will direct the upcoming “Thor 3.”

Films that have won Sundance awards in recent years include “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” “Whiplash,” “Fruitvale Station,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Interview: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon for ‘Me and Earl and The Dying Girl’

One of my favourite movies of kast year is the superb Me and Earl and The Dying Girl. It’s a truly delightful film that hits the home formats on 11th January. Thomas Mann, Rj Cyler and Olivia Cooke lead the cast of the film, but we caught up with film’s talented director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon who spoke about his movie.

What was it about Me And Earl And The Dying Girl that appealed to you as a filmmaker?

The idea that you can learn about people after they die, you just have to pay attention. The second I read that line I thought ‘What a beautiful idea’. I had just lost someone very close to me – namely my father – and I was having difficulty incorporating loss into my life and making something out of it instead of letting it destroy me. It felt like a movie I could personalise.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Guild of Music Supervisors Announce Noms for Sixth Awards Ceremony

For its sixth annual awards ceremony, the Guild of Music Supervisors focused on the soundtracks of several music-driven films and TV shows, including the features “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Straight Outta Compton,” the documentaries “Amy,” “Janis: Little Girl Blue” and “Cobain: Montage of Heck”; the drama series “Empire” and “Nashville”; the TV movie “Bessie”; and the reality series “American Idol” and “The Voice.”

Those nominations for documentaries are new this year, as are categories for best song/recording created for a film and for television. Also for the first time, the Guild Of Music Supervisors Legacy Award, a career distinction “for excellence in the field of music in media,” will be given to inaugural recipient Chris Montan, president of Walt Disney Music.

The ever-growing affair is being held for the first time at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on Jan. 21, with “special performances” being announced at a later date.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Guild of Music Supervisors Announce Noms for Sixth Awards Ceremony

For its sixth annual awards ceremony, the Guild of Music Supervisors focused on the soundtracks of several music-driven films and TV shows, including the features “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Straight Outta Compton,” the documentaries “Amy,” “Janis: Little Girl Blue” and “Cobain: Montage of Heck”; the drama series “Empire” and “Nashville”; the TV movie “Bessie”; and the reality series “American Idol” and “The Voice.”

Those nominations for documentaries are new this year, as are categories for best song/recording created for a film and for television. Also for the first time, the Guild Of Music Supervisors Legacy Award, a career distinction “for excellence in the field of music in media,” will be given to inaugural recipient Chris Montan, president of Walt Disney Music.

The ever-growing affair is being held for the first time at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on Jan. 21, with “special performances” being announced at a later date.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Film Review: ‘We Are Your Friends’

Film Review: ‘We Are Your Friends’
At long last, fans of Electronic Dance Music have a movie to call their own — a moving and authentic portrait of the artist as a young DJ, struggling to find himself in that tricky gray zone where personal and professional desires converge. But enough about Mia Hansen-Love’s “Eden.” For viewers who prefer their coming-of-age stories told in broad, believe-in-yourself brushstrokes, say hello to “We Are Your Friends,” a brashly entertaining, none-too-persuasive tale of a talented 23-year-old musician from the San Fernando Valley trying to penetrate the glittering upper echelons of Hollywood nightlife. Striving to capture a definitive screenshot of millennial angst, Max Joseph’s formally creative, dramatically conventional directing debut probably won’t earn raves from Edm devotees, particularly those who reject the notion of Zac Efron as their head-banging Hollywood poster boy. Still, there’s no denying that the star’s hard-to-resist appeal will draw mainstream eyes and
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The First Trailer Is Here For Zac Efron’s We Are Your Friends

From writer/director Max Joseph, here’s a first look at the trailer for We Are Your Friends starring Zac Efron, Emily Ratajkowski and Wes Bentley.

The film marks Max Joseph’s (MTV’s “Catfish: The TV Show”) feature film directorial debut.

We Are Your Friends is about what it takes to find your voice. Set in the world of electronic music and Hollywood nightlife, an aspiring 23-year-old DJ named Cole (Efron) spends his days scheming with his childhood friends and his nights working on the one track that will set the world on fire. All of this changes when he meets a charismatic but damaged older DJ named James (Bentley), who takes him under his wing. Things get complicated, however, when Cole starts falling for James’ much younger girlfriend, Sophie (Ratajkowski). With Cole’s forbidden relationship intensifying and his friendships unraveling, he must choose between love, loyalty, and the future he is destined for.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »
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