Sunday, January 17, 2016

Independent YOU!

This past holiday season a good friend gave me Edward Burns’ book, “Independent Ed.”  The gift had a double meaning.   Everyone knows how much I like independent films.  But this friend and I had attended a UAlbany Writer’s Institute screening and discussion with Mr. Burns for his 1998 film, “No Looking Back.”  Then this past November, we both had the privilege of watching a preview of Mr. Burns’ new (and now canceled) television show “Public Morals,” followed by a great discussion, with none other than William Kennedy moderating! 

I highly recommend the book.   Ed details how he became an independent filmmaker, the production of his first film “Brothers McMullen,” (which won at Sundance) and his early success, including being cast in Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan.”  The best part of the book is when the success stopped happening and he had to face the fact that if he wanted to make the films he wanted, he would have to find a way to do it.  I don’t want to ruin the book because you really need to read it but he finds ways to not only make the films he wants to make but to have them be a financial success.  He gives “hard knocks” advice that will help any filmmaker trying to get their film made – beginner, novice or expert!
One of things mentioned is that we all have a unique voice.  You have something to say and you need to get your voice out there!  He says this most voraciously to criticisms that there are too many low-budget indie films that are not good, flooding the market, blah, blah, blah.  I could not agree more with Mr. Burns.  I’ll add that with today’s technology you do not need to limit your vision or project.  Maybe you’re going to make a feature, a short or a web-series!  Maybe your project is something no one has ever seen before!  BTW: TvFILM is here to support you, your film and everything in between!  True independent film is the edge not the middle.  Our ranks are filled with artists that need to say something no matter what the adversity is. 
As TvFILM begins its eighth season on-air, I hope that some of Ed’s spirit is felt when you watch this season’s films and listen to the filmmakers!  Right now we’re getting the word out on our Call for Entries.  So, help us find those “independent” voices that need to be heard or watched, well both!  Click here to find out all you’ll need to submit your film.  And watch for TvFILM premiering this June on WMHT! 

Sunday, November 8, 2015


TvFILM had an incredible year!  Yes, we still have some time left in 2015, but it’s safe to say that this was our best year yet!  We had a very successful season seven, in which we showcased 14 short films and 17 filmmakers to our voracious public television audience.  This was after one of our most successful Call for Entries where we received many amazing short films and we didn’t stop there!  TvFILM had its first ever Halloween special, “A Night of Frights” and a corresponding live screening event at The Linda, too!  If you missed it, click here to watch:
How can we top this?  Well, let’s start with announcing our season eight call for entries!  This year we continue our ongoing mission to showcase our region’s most unique and engaging independent short films.  We’re also proud to announce our collaboration with the Capital Cinema Cultural Exchange: . If you submit a film, whether you’re selected or not, you’ll have an opportunity to attend one of CCCE’s filmmaker labs this September 2016 for FREE!
Please submit your film and/or help us spread the word!  Here’s all the info and guidelines concerning submitting:
Thank you for your continued support and here’s to an amazing 2016!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Gus and Gil Halloween Spooktacular!

If you liked Nick DeMartino's "Jahovies" or "Breakfast In Dead" --- check out the whole thing:


Thursday, October 1, 2015


This Halloween prepare yourself for TvFILM’s Night of Frights- a first-ever, one-hour television special featuring the spookiest, scariest, most-fun you’re going to have watching television films this All Hallows Eve. 

TvFILM will present locally made thrills and chills by Capital Region filmmakers!  The Grim Reaper, zombies, ghosts, a babysitter, Jehovah’s Witness’, Rod Sterling(kinda of) and that’s just a little of what’s in store.  So, buy some candy, carve the pumpkin, gather the kids, lock the doors, pull the shades, and call the neighbors!  What else?  Oh, look in the mirror and say, “Candyman” three times then pop some popcorn and huddle around the tube for more treats than tricks!

Along the way, we’re going to dive into that large but little talked about part of the independent filmmaking, the horror movie genre!  Tune-in, if you dare, Thursday, October 29th at 10pm only on WMHT! 

Wait!  Keep reading!  We’re also, having a corresponding screening event at The Linda in Albany for “Night of Frights!”  Come out Friday, October 30th at 8pm to watch the films on the BIG screen and talk with the filmmakers!  Wear a costume- we are!  All this for only all $8 per person.  It’ll be a perfectly spooky beginning to your Halloween weekend.  See you there!

The following films will be a part of our Night of Fright:

The Baby Monitor” by Zach and Frank Appio

Despite the baby monitor, mom does not hear the sound coming from the child's closet. When she finally investigates, we gain a shockingly new perspective.

Jahovies” by Nick DeMartino

This is a terrifying move trailer showing a nightmare going door-to-door!

Ghost Tours” by Kristin Holodak

Sarah is torn between what she needs to do and what she loves to do. Only when she opens her eyes to the world around her can she make her choice.

Taking Out the Reaper” by Jacob McAuliffe

A comedy following a group of elderly nursing home occupants who decide to kill the Grim Reaper.

I Live With You” by Clancy Morgan

After being held captive for months, Anna finally escapes.

Breakfast In Dead” by Nick DeMartino

A grief-stricken husband tries to bring his recently deceased wife back from the dead using a toaster.

Dark Legacy” by Daniel Sparling

A young boy is lured into an abandoned barn by a dark spirit intent on eating him.  When the trap is sprung the spirit finds the boy to be more than a challenge.