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Francis Ford Coppola Relaunches Zoetrope.Com Site for Short Films

Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola has relaunched his 19-year-old virtual studio Zoetrope.com, adding a showcase for short films.

The website, which touts itself as setting the precedent for a new era of crowd-sourcing and writing workshops, includes acting resumes, photography, song writing, short films, stories, novels, scripts, short flash fiction, poetry, music and photos.

The new short films section is designed to offer screenwriters, directors and producers peer feedback. Zoetrope.com requires that for every story a member submits, they are required to review five other works, so each person gets exposed to other writing which provides growing opportunities in addition to receiving feedback.

“When I was a kid I remember looking in the locked gates of a movie studio which was across the street from the Junior High School I was attending,” Coppola said in a statement. “I was wishing that I could get in and see what these mythical movie studios were. Years later I actually bought that studio, and I went to that Junior High School and I talked about it to the students and I said ‘alright kids let’s go,’ and I took them across the street and right in through the studio gates.”

“And that’s what I was trying to do with this site – let everyone have access to a movie studio or set a new context of creative community for people interested in cinema, music, acting, art, graphics, photography, songwriting, and so on.”

Coppola founded the site in 1997 to supply material for the short story periodical “Zoetrope: All Story,” drawing his inspiration from the short story periodicals of the ’30s era that supported the careers of writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dorothy Parker. Stories published in the magazine have won National Magazine Awards for fiction, in 2001, 2012 and 2016.

The 77-year-old Coppola launched his San Francisco-based studio-production company as American Zoetrope in 1969. It’s produced over 50 films, including the Godfather trilogy, “Apocalypse Now,” “American Graffiti,” “Rumble Fish,” “The Cotton Club,” “Lost in Translation,” “The Bling Ring,”  “On the Road” and “Life After Beth.”

Coppola has won five Oscars and the Irving Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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