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June 14 at 8:15am

THE INVISIBLE WAR Proves That Films Can Change The World

Don’t you love it when you see a film and want to change the world? Don’t you love it even more when you see a film and learn that that film has already changed the world — and for the better? I sat watching Amy Ziering’s & Kirby Dick’s THE INVISIBLE WAR with my jaw hanging open, literally; my fury growing by the minute. When I was done, my understanding of the world had expanded, and my confidence in the power of film was confirmed.

As informed and engaged as we all are, there are significant acts going on that we may not be cognizant or aware of, but if we — and our representative institutions — don’t take action we are essentially giving consent to continue. Part of the complete definition of cinema these days is engagement and action, and THE INVISIBLE WAR fulfills this commitment (and more). It has made the world a safer place for those that work to make our world safe.

Ziering & Dick not only deliver an argument but provide all of the intimacy and emotional impact that a direct personal relationship usually brings. When you encounter those who have been the victim of a system that seems to endorse and covers up rape in our military forces, you can’t help but be outraged. A female soldier in a combat zone is more likely to be raped by her fellow soldiers than killed by enemy fire.

THE INVISIBLE WAR won the Audience Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. It opens on June 22nd, but thanks to Goldcrest, I am hosting a free screening for those on my list. Hopefully everyone brings a bottle of wine or the beverage of their choice and we discuss it afterwards.

Visit the website here: http://invisiblewarmovie.com/
Watch the trailer here: http://youtu.be/ECOqpv45tIo
“Like” the film here: http://www.facebook.com/invisiblewarmovie

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June 1 at 4:00pm

Demand The Government To Incentive Job Creation & Support The Arts (via Fed181 Extension)

America is in danger of losing a critical part of it’s culture: Independent Film. All throughout this year I have heard one producer or director after another complain they can no longer afford to stay in the business. I know I too feel this on a regular basis. Yet, here in New York, I have seen the crafts and support elements run at close to full employment. Why? The New York State Tax Credits keep television and other productions going at a steady pace.

There is no question that effective tax policy can also be job stimulus.

Without any policy for funding of the arts in America,it is critical that we incentive potential investors to consider backing the arts. It was great to hear (via Entertainment Partners’ Film Incentive Services) that there is a movement afoot to reinstate Fed 181. They pointed out:

Congressmen Howard Berman and David Drier co-sponsored a bill (HR 5793) to extend the federal film incentive program aimed at keeping film production in the U.S. Internal Revenue Code section 181 expired at the end of last year. The current proposal would extend the election to treat film costs as an immediate deduction rather than a capital expense. To qualify, productions must spend ≥ 75% of the compensation on services performed in the U.S.

The Hollywood Reporter points out the many benefits for the country at large.

“Berman and Drier point out that runaway foreign production has become a national issue. With production of movies and TV programs now occurring throughout the United States, this industry creates well-paying jobs and generates tangible economic benefits to cities and states nationwide. A typical motion picture employs 350-500 people. Production jobs have an average salary that is 73 percent higher than the current nationwide average. A major motion picture shooting on location contributes $225,000 on average every day to the local economy, so it is no surprise that it is seen as a critical engine of economic development in many places across the country.
Thus, the lawmakers argue, extension of the tax not only will help to promote well-paying film industry jobs but will have a ripple effect across broad sectors of the economy by generating revenue and employment opportunities for a wide range of local businesses, such as caterers, dry cleaners, lodging, equipment rental facilities, transportation vendors and many others.”

If you live in the States, and work in the arts, the least you can do is call your representatives and urge them to support the bill, HR 5793.


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June 1 at 11:00am

How Do You Make Art When You Can’t Afford Housing?

I am sure I was not the only one who was a bit shocked to see the infographic that demonstrated that NOWHERE IN THE USA IS IT POSSIBLE TO AFFORD A TWO BEDROOM APARTMENT ON A FORTY HOUR PER WEEK MINIMUM WAGE JOB. How can you have a family when you can not afford to care for them? The creation of art has become a luxury in America. No wonder we are a nation of money-movers when students leave college with a debt of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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