Hamptons Panel Takes New York’s Pulse

Shooting Gallery, IFP/Made in NY Media Center represent past and future of Gotham indie scene

In a season of renewed cinematic creativity and vigor in American indie film, as evidenced by a wide array of titles both in and out of the Hamptons Intl. Film Fest, nowhere is that vitality more pronounced than in the New York indie film scene. Such world-renowned New York filmmakers as Noah Baumbach, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee continue making exciting films, while the Coen brothers’ latest, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” serves as a virtual ode to the city’s famed Greenwich Village music scene of the early ’60s.

In light of Gotham’s past two decades as a hotbed of filmmaking talent and its newest developments, which include this month’s opening of the IFP/Made in NY Media Center (pictured above), the Hamptons film fest is hosting a panel discussion, New York Indies: Rewind & Fast Forward, with several Gotham-based filmmakers who have seen the scene struggle, rise and produce dozens of America’s most important recent cinematic works. It’s part of the festival’s Rowdy Talks at Rowdy Hall.

One of the members of the panel, IFP executive director Joana Vicente, has been an integral part of the New York film community for most of that journey. Having worked on Todd Solondz’s breakthrough film “Welcome to the Dollhouse” in 1995, Vicente describes the scene of that period as “booming with small specialty production companies like Good Machine and Killer Films and the Shooting Gallery.”

The meteoric rise and fall of Shooting Gallery will also be chronicled at the Hamptons fest with the world premiere of Whitney Ransick’s “Misfire”; Ransick will join Vicente, veteran indie producer-lawyer-finance guru John Sloss and Nancy Gerstman, co-founder/co-president of indie distribution firm Zeitgeist Films on the panel.

In Vicente’s view, the major change in the New York filmmaking scene is a shift from “the quest for production information and access to the means of production” to today’s multimedia environment, where Vicente sees the Media Center as a central creative hub where “a wide range of skill sets and disciplines are helping media artists to become storytellers.”

According to Vicente, “With the multitude of platforms, there are lots of ways to get your film project out in the world, but the challenge is how to market the project, how to get your voice heard.”

(Variety VP and exec editor Steven Gaydos will moderate the “New York Indies” panel on Oct. 13.)

Hamptons Film Festival Highlights

‘Working’ Men: “Bridget Jones’ Diary” star Renee Zellweger, pictured, will present the fest’s Golden Starfish honors to Working Title co-chairs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.

Rising Stars: A handful of Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch honorees will be on hand at the festival to accompany their films and participate in a panel at 10 a.m. Oct. 12.

Get Carter: Helena Bonham Carter will sit for a career-spanning Q&A, 2 p.m. Oct. 12. Her latest, “Burton and Taylor,” screens that night.

Coming Home: Bruce Dern will discuss his lead role in Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” 4 p.m. Oct. 13. The film screens as a festival centerpiece.

Dramatic Events: The Conflict and Resolution sidebar focuses on real-world global issues, screening five features, including Brizzolara award winner “Plot for Peace.”

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