Merry Christmas everyone! And of course Happy Holidays, for all you non-Christian inclined rock stars like myself out there. It's early morning in Kensington, MD and I am still high on the Christmas food, family & assorted holiday related dramas, and I am still in a year-end list making mood. So here's a list that looks forward, all the way to year 2006 - it's the future but it is only 7 days away! All of the filmmakers listed below have recently completed or released interesting sounding movies, will be playing festivals and theaters in some cases, and their work should be available on DVD now or at some point in '06. Some of their recent works I have seen and liked, and for the rest, I am looking forward to checking out their movies in the new year. And finally, applause & drum roll please, here's my !10 Filmmakers To Watch In 2006 list!, in alphabetical order:
1. Kelley Baker
The Angry Filmmaker. He tours with his movies, teaches workshops, has done sound work for Gus Van Sant, has a cool D.I.Y. film distro philosophy, and he's got a 2005 film called
Kicking Bird that I am looking forward to checking out. What will Kelley do in '06?
2. Andrew Bujalski
Andrew's Mutual Appreciation has appeared on several "best of 2005" lists. I saw the movie and liked it a lot. Mutual Appreciation is about an indie rocker who moves to New York City, tries to get settled and working, and starts to draw some special attention from his best friend's girlfriend. Mutual Appreciation played in several festivals in '05, I am looking forward to seeing this movie go in front of a wider audience in '06.
3. Andrew Dickson
As I discovered yesterday, Kensington, Maryland has several connections to the L.A. indie and Hollywood production worlds. Yesterday I met 3 people who live in L.A. and are involved with the movies as producers and or directors. They were all visiting family in Kensington. Andrew Dickson is one of them and he is definitely the more indie of the three. Andrew is currently busy with a very interesting and hilarious sounding performance art piece called AC Dickson eBay PowerSeller. He's got some film projects cooking too, but I won't go into those details here. I am sure we'll hear about them as the new year unfolds. The fact that Andrew took his movie Good Grief on the road like a touring punk rocker in '01 has placed him on my filmmakers to watch in '06 list.
4. Miranda July
How do you follow up a Cannes win and an excellent, odd romantic comedy? I do not know but Miranda probably has some ideas. Looking forward to seeing what she does in '06.
In the meantime, here's the web site for her '05 movie Me And You And Everyone We Know and the blog for that movie.
5. Jon Moritsugu
Last time I spoke with Jon he was working on a script and getting ready to shoot a new feature. So, if it all goes well, Jon should have a new feature done or close to completion in '06, I think. His very enjoyable '03 movie Scumrock was shot on Hi-8 and it won all kinds of awards. Here is a September '05 interview I did with this legendary & inspirational* punk/underground/indie filmmaker. [*Scumrock: !an award winning feature shot on Hi-freakin'-8 (& edited linear using 2 VCRs!!!)!]]]
6. Amir Motlagh
Amir is the hardest working man I know in this indie film show business. He is working on his first feature Whale at the moment. I liked his shorts Still Lover and My Break Ups Into A Million Pieces a lot, so I am looking forward to seeing Whale in '06.
7. Elizabeth Nord
Did you know there is a punk scene in Israel? Never thought about it did you? Me too, until I heard about Liz's documentary Jericho's Echo: Punk Rock in the Holy Land. Looking forward to seeing it in '06.
8. Todd Rohal
Todd's new film The Guatemalan Handshake got into Slamdance '06. I've been checking out his production blog, so it will be very cool to see the results of all the effort.
9. James Spooner
James has a new movie called White Lies, Black Sheep. I still have not seen his previous movie, the documentary Afro-Punk. Will be checking both those flicks out in '06.
10. Caveh Zahedi
Caveh's movie I Am A Sex Addict was my favorite movie of '05. Sex Addict will be playing in theaters in '06, starting with Seattle's Northwest Film Forum on January 6. Looking forward to seeing the theatrical self-distribution campaign unfold, and then the DVD, and then seeing what Caveh will do next. Whatever it will be, I am sure it will be wild.
And of course I am looking forward to seeing how people will react to my new feature
Date Number One when I show it all over America next year. Showed a bit of it to a friend from Seattle last night, he liked what he saw and thinks the kids in Seattle will dig it. We'll find out for sure in '06.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Happy 2006 everyone!