Netflix, Amazon and Apple Could Face Quotas For European Films Abroad

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Online-video providers such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple might be staring down the barrel of unprecedented changes overseas, as the European Union’s executive body has proposed legal measures that could place hard quotas for European movies and shows on their services.

The EU’s proposal is part of a concerted effort to fend off Hollywood’s dominance and instead promote the works of the 28 countries that comprise the European Union. While Netflix, iTunes and similar services already feature large collections of European works, the EU is calling for a quota of roughly 20% (or potentially higher) of all of their content and also encouraging services like Netflix to fund the film production for its member states. Interestingly, some of the member states already enforce strict quotas ranging from 10% to as high as 60% that these companies have respected.

“We appreciate the Commission’s objective to have European production flourish, however the proposed measures won’t actually achieve that,” Netflix said in a statement. Netflix also has an extensive history of funding European productions, so the EU’s suggestion of financial contributions may have rubbed Netflix officials the wrong way. Aside from these quotas, the EU’s proposals also aim to lift cross-border barriers for Internet shoppers and create a single digital market serving the EU’s 500 million people.

Will the EU see these quotas come to fruition? If so, will these measures actually help the EU fight off Hollywood’s dominance? Only time will tell, but until then, Netflix, Amazon and Apple will keep their fingers crossed. Feel free to let us know how you feel about the EU’s proposals in the comments section below.

Talking Cannes With Filmmaker Andres Rosende

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With the 2016 Cannes Film Festival fresh underway, we turned to some of our esteemed faculty here at the International Film Institute of New York in order to gather their personal insights and observations regarding Cannes, the surrounding excitement, which films and filmmakers to look out for in 2016 and also to gather their opinions about the industry as a whole.

Today, we sat down with Andres Rosende, a director, filmmaker and longtime IFI instructor, for a Q&A to discuss his insights on the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and provide inspiration to aspiring filmmakers looking to burst into the festival scene. Here’s the full Q&A with Rosende:

Q: What films, if any, have caught your eye from this year’s selections?

A: Cannes is a very auteur driven film festival so I’m always excited about the new movies of those filmmakers I admire and follow. This year looks spectacular: Almodovar,  Assayas, The Dardenne brothers, Ken Loach, Jeff Nichos, Paul Verhoeven or Nicholas Winding Refn are here. I can’t wait.


Q: What filmmaker/film program is doing a consistently good job presenting films year after year?

A: I don’t think any filmmaker is infallible, but I’m a huge Woody Allen fan, so I feel his movies (even the lesser ones) are never a disappointment. I also feel that the career of the Darden Brothers can be followed through Cannes.


Q: What does it take to compete at Cannes?

A: Cannes is the most prestigious and famous festival in the world. As I mentioned before is a filmmaker driven festival, so usually smaller, more personal movies are the one that compete there. Like any other big festival, there are political reasons, special relationships and other considerations too that affect the selection.


Q: What one piece of advice would you give someone pursuing Cannes?

A: I don’t think my approach to Cannes is necessary different than my approach to any film festival. Be confident in your work. Now that your film is the same going to a festival than not going to one; with awards and without awards. This is a very subjective process and nobody should put their self-esteem in it.


Q: Besides Cannes, what other international moment is important to film?

A: I think there are many festivals and events around the world that celebrate film. We have the big film festivals: Berlin, Venice, San Sebastian, Toronto, New York, Sundance, AFI, SXSW… We have the specialized festivals: Sitges, Locarno, Fantastic Fest… We have museums like MOMA or LACMA, awards shows like the Academy Awards (not just the Oscars but every country’s Academy Awards), etc.


About Andres Rosende:

Andres was born and raised in Santiago de Compostela, Spain where he graduated summa cum laude from Universidad Complutense of Madrid with a B.A. in Film Studies and Communication. Aside from being an MFA candidate in Film Directing at Columbia University, Andres has also won several awards including the James Bridges Award for excellence in working with actors and the prestigious Fundacion Barrie de la Maza scholarship.

Talking Cannes With Director Maggie Greenwald

With the 2016 Cannes Film Festival fresh underway, we turned to some of our esteemed instructors and colleagues here at the International Film Institute of New York in order to gather their personal insights and observations regarding Cannes, the surrounding excitement, which films and filmmakers to look out for in 2016 and also to gather their opinions about the industry as a whole.

Today, we sat down with Maggie Greenwald, an independent writer / director, for a Q&A to discuss her thoughts on the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and provide inspiration to aspiring filmmakers. We thank Maggie for her time in responding to our questions! Here’s the full Q&A with Greenwald:

Q: What films, if any, have caught your eye from this year’s selections?

A: I’m excited about the strong presence that the Amazon features will have at the Cannes Festival in 2016; as always, I’m disappointed that so few films by women have been included in the festival.


Q: What does it take to compete at Cannes?

A: I’m really not positive in regards to what it takes to get a film into Cannes. Honestly, having major connections – such as producers and filmmakers that the programmers know – seems to go a long way. As all top-tier festivals, they are swamped with films and need some mechanism to help sort through. Personally, I don’t think my films fit into their sensibility, so I stopped focusing on Cannes some time ago for my work; it’s still very much a boys club.


Q: Are you currently participating in Cannes in any way?

A: My new film, Sophie and the Rising Sun, is represented in the market by a foreign sales company called Seville Int’l. They are selling international rights.


Q: Besides Cannes, what other international moment is important to film?

A: There are many wonderful European festivals that are just as amazing and can bring great visibility and acknowledgment to American films – Venice, Berlin, Locarno, Munich, London, San Sebastian are all amazing festivals and provide great opportunities for filmmakers. There are dozens more, smaller festivals which may be better fits for lesser known filmmakers. Some festivals are less interested in American films and focused more on Europe or Latin America. But, I’d always advise a new filmmaker to submit a film to as many festivals as possible. The best place for you and your film could very well be a smaller festival where it won’t get lost. My film, Sophie and the Rising Sun, will be screening at the Munich Film Festival in June. I’m thrilled.


About Maggie Greenwald:

Maggie Greenwald is an independent writer and director. Her recent film, Sophie and the Rising Sun, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Maggie also wrote and directed The Ballad of Little Jo, a critically-acclaimed, groundbreaking Western which was released worldwide by Fine Line Features and Polygram Filmed Entertainment and shown at major festivals around the world. Maggie’s other work has appeared at festivals in Munich, London, Deauville, Toronto, Edinburgh and Torino. She is currently creating and writing a new TV series, Called to Gilead, in addition to developing Nella Larsen’s novel Quicksand as a feature film.

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Talking Cannes With Filmmaker Shrihari Sathe

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With the 2016 Cannes Film Festival fresh underway, we turned to some of our esteemed faculty here at the International Film Institute of New York in order to gather their personal insights and observations regarding Cannes, the surrounding excitement, which films and filmmakers to look out for in 2016 and also to gather their opinions about the industry as a whole.

Today, we sat down with Shrihari Sathe, an independent filmmaker, producer and longtime IFI instructor, for a Q&A to discuss his company’s involvement in the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and provide inspiration to aspiring filmmakers looking to burst into the festival scene. Here’s the full Q&A with Sathe:

Q: What films, if any, have caught your eye from this year’s selections?

A: Money Monster, The Nice Guys, Psycho Raman, Tramontane, Mademoiselle


Q: What filmmaker/film program is doing a consistently good job presenting films year after year?

A: Bruno Dumont, Dardenne Brothers, Anurag Kashyap


Q: What does it take to compete at Cannes?

A: Cannes is the mecca of the film festival circuit so the films have to be of high quality – typical the main festival selection is made up of masters and the parallel sections are a combination of emerging filmmakers and masters.


Q: What one piece of advice would you give someone pursuing Cannes?

A: It’s important to understand the festival marketplace and know the right people in order to set up the right meetings. It’s also important to have a specific purpose in coming to Cannes.


Q: Are you currently participating in Cannes in any way?

A: Yes, I launched a new distribution label – Silk Road Cinema in partnership with Kino Lorber, an established American distributor. I’m also doing meetings for my projects in the development and financing stage.


Q: Besides Cannes, what other international moment is important to film?

A: From a marketing perspective, these four: The Berlin Film Festival, the European Film Market in Europe, the Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival in North America. In terms of major festivals, these are important as well: Festival del Film Locarno, the Venice Film Festival, the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, the Telluride Film Festival and New York Film Festival.


About Shrihari Sathe:

Shrihari Sathe, an independent filmmaker and producer, joined IFI as an instructor in 2015. Sathe recently launched Silk Road Cinema in partnership with Kino Lorber, an established American distributor, with the aim of bringing top films from South Asia over to the United States. In addition to producing and co-producing several films (i.e.: Jaron Henrie-McCrea’s Pervertigo (2012), Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love (2013) and Elisabeth Subrin’s A Woman, A Part (2016)), Sathe’s feature directorial debut, 1000 Rupee Note, has won over 40 awards. Sathe is a Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow and Trans Atlantic Partners Fellow who has also received fellowships from the HFPA, PGA, IFP, Film Independent and more.

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IFI Q&A: Filmmaker and Screenwriter Andres Rosende

As we gear up for International Film Institute of New York’s 2016 Five Week Summer Filmmaking Intensive, we will be catching up with industry tastemakers, faculty members and aspiring filmmakers on a weekly basis in order to discuss film and the importance of IFI in educating students, molding them into individuals and preparing them for a career in the film industry. This week, we sat down with Andres Rosende, a decorated filmmaker and screenwriter, who has been an IFI film instructor since 2010 and thoroughly understands our process from top to bottom. We wanted to ask Andres some important questions about the industry and also learn through his experience about what differentiates the IFI from other film schools.

Andres was born and raised in Santiago de Compostela, Spain where he graduated summa cum laude from Universidad Complutense of Madrid with a B.A. in Film Studies and Communication. Aside from being an MFA candidate in Film Directing at Columbia University, Andres has also won several awards including the James Bridges Award for excellence in working with actors and the prestigious Fundacion Barrie de la Maza scholarship.

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Q: What differentiates IFI from other film schools?

A: There are two things that make the IFI program very special: 1. The founders and all of the faculty care deeply about the students – not only as far as educating them on a certain set of skills, but also as far as helping them finding themselves as individuals and as artists as well. Anyone can learn where to place a camera so that it doesn’t cross the axis, but only a few aspiring filmmakers can tell a compelling, personal story. 2. The IFI Summer Program is a story-driven program that offers a grad level course for high-schoolers; there’s simply no other program like it on the market.

Q: Would you recommend the IFI to international students? If so, why?

A: Definitely. I would recommend the program to anyone who wants to learn about film and the filmmaking process in general. When it comes to international students specifically, they often bring a different perspective on film to the table and IFI makes sure to educate them on the mainstream way of telling stories. Typically, this mixture of film ideologies produces THE BEST movies. Not for nothing, some of the biggest filmmakers of all time were foreigners working in the United States (from Hitchcock to Iñárritu).

Q: How does taking an IFI course benefit a student looking into film schools?

A: Among the great things about the IFI, students will write, produce, direct and edit a short film that they can add to their portfolio and use in film school applications later on. There are so many students that have transitioned from the IFI program into prestigious film schools including NYU, Columbia, Chapman, SCAD, UCLA and several others.

Q: What makes a good student filmmaker? What makes a good film?

A: A good student filmmaker doesn’t need to constantly prove that he or she knows it all. I guess it’s safe to say that this is a quality of good students in general. Passion for film doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be a great filmmaker. You need to have imagination, curiosity and a strong desire to tell stories in order to be successful. Film is not summer camp – it’s hard work!

Q: What would you say to a student looking into film programs about the IFI?

A: Don’t think twice. You’ll find many programs online, some of them more glamorous or flashy, but only IFI’s program will really help you understand the medium and help advance your growth as an individual and a filmmaker. Every single student that takes the program comes back home changed – I give you my word on this!

Q: As a Director and Directing Instructor, what do you emphasize in the classroom?

A: Obviously, there is a part of my class that emphasizes the craft: the vocabulary and grammar of film. The other part of my class focuses on exploring how each student perceives the world and how we can use that to translate those thoughts and perceptions into images.

Q: What has been your experience teaching at the IFI?

A: Teaching at the IFI has never been a job for me. The students are so smart that I always feel like I’m learning from them and becoming a better filmmaker myself. On top of that, the relationships among teachers and between teachers and students are so fluid, caring and encouraging that it has always been a pleasure to work at the IFI.

Moving Forward With Our Mission

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As we come to the end of another academic year and begin to plan for the summer we look back at the success we have had with our alums getting into colleges and universities where film is front and center. New York University’s (NYU) Film and Television Institute acceptance rate is in the single digits. With thousands of applicants, only a select group get admitted every year. For many years now, International Film Institute of New York (IFI) graduates have been included in that select group. This fall that success continues with three more alums joining the NYU crowd. Keep in mind, our program is relatively small and currently only admits 32 students per summer session. That is 10% of our class just at NYU.

NYU is not the only school with a notable film program. Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and the University of Southern California rank among top film schools in the county, and we’re proud to say IFI alumni have continued their Film studies at both institutions.

That is not to say taking a class at IFI will get you into the film school of your choice, but it will definitely help by giving you the education, tools and experience you need to realize your vision as a filmmaker. By learning and working with professors who know what these schools are looking for, your chances of admission are substantially higher.

Program director Misael Sanchez believes that film “schools do provide a clear advantage. They give the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals that might have already been through the first steps in getting a job. Filmmaking is a collaborative process. The relationships you develop along the way go a long way toward helping you get the next job. Schools give you the opportunity to build a network right out of the starting gate.”

It should be noted that going to a prestigious film school is not the only way to succeed in the industry. We are proud of all of our alumni and the tracks they choose to follow after completing a course at IFI. So whether you have a specific film school in mind, or just want to explore filmmaking further, the International Film Institute of New York’s programs offer comprehensive classes to educate all levels of filmmakers, including a 5 Week Filmmaking Intensive Program from June 26th to July 29th, and a One Week Introduction to Filmmaking Seminar from July 11th to July 15th.