What’s up, good people?! Welcome back to the itsashort.com weekly roundup oF movie and short film news. For this edition, we are all about the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival, which runs April 13-24 in New York City. Itsashort.com will be there doing what we normally do, checking out the seminars, talks and screenings, while networking our faces off.
Speaking of Tribeca, festival co-founder Robert De Niro took some heat for including the documentary Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, by Andrew Wakefield, a British medical researcher who authored a widely discredited article linking autism to a popular vaccine.
Initially, De Niro, who never gets involved with Tribeca programming decisions, intervened to have Vaxxed included in the festival lineup.
“Grace and I have a child with autism and we believe it is critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined. In the 15 years since the Tribeca Film Festival was founded, I have never asked for a film to be screened or gotten involved in the programming. However this is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion, which is why we will be screening VAXXED. I am not personally endorsing the film, nor am I anti-vaccination; I am only providing the opportunity for a conversation around the issue.”
“…But after reviewing it over the past few days with the Tribeca Film Festival team and others from the scientific community, we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for…”
Whew! Can you say drama?! Tribeca isn’t even here, and we’re already excited!
The festival will feature a talk between J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Chris Rock (Top Five). Tina Fey (30 Rock, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot) and Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather) will also headline the venerable festival. Plus, the short film program looks very promising.
J.J. Is Dynamite!
And speaking of J.J. Abrams, itsashort.com attended his talk at the SXSW Film Festival two weeks ago. It was a riveting discussion that was packed to the gills with humanity. Abrams talked about filmmaking and technology, but he also touched on the all-important issue of diversity.
He mentioned specifically that his production company “Bad Robot” has begun hiring actors from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
“We asked that the list of people being considered represent the makeup of the country,” Abrams said. “We had to do something to acknowledge the fact that it is good for the bottom line. It is a good thing for the business to have voices that are inclusive. We want to have stories that are unique, to have points of view that aren’t expected.”
We have a huge man crush on this guy. We even shot this small video of him at SXSW. Check it out!
Get Your First Glance
The First Glance Film contest launches April 18. That’s when you can begin voting on the short film selections at our website. Last year’s winner was the spectacular short film “Spark And Fade.”
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