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FIVE QUESTIONS WITH “BAM150″ DIRECTOR MICHAEL SLADEK

This June, the Brooklyn Academy of Music presents the fourth annual BAMcinemaFest, featuring a lineup of some of the best emerging voices American cinema has to offer. And CinemaFest is just one of dozens that the Brooklyn institution presents each year, as BAM consistently shines a spotlight on the best in theater, dance, music, film, and more.
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FIVE QUESTIONS WITH “FREE SAMPLES” DIRECTOR JAY GAMMILL

Watching the trailer for Jay Gammill’s new comedy Free Samples, one can almost hear the ghost of Clerks‘ Dante Hicks echoing in the distance – complaining, “I’m not even supposed to be here today.” The latest in a long line of dead-end job dramedies, Free Samples follows slacker twenty-something Jillian (Jess Wexler) as she fills in for her friend handing out free samples all day from inside an ice cream truck.
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FILMMAKER BEATS IRS, PROVES DOCUMENTARY FILM IS NOT A HOBBY

Independent documentary filmmaker Lee Storey has won her long battle with the Internal Revenue Service over deductions related to her film, Smile ’til it Hurts: The Up with People Story. The IRS’s case against story panicked the documentary community as it was poised to declare documentary filmmaking itself “a hobby” and not a professional, profit-seeking endeavor eligible for tax deductions.
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FIVE QUESTIONS WITH “FIRST WINTER” DIRECTOR BEN DICKENSON

To properly evoke the apocalyptic landscape and tone of his directorial debut, filmmaker Benjamin Dickinson lived like he filmed – amidst the chilling rural winter that his characters find themselves trapped within. Opting to forgo electricity and even food while filming the movie’s most desperate sequences, Dickinson and his crew lend what should prove to be a hard won authenticity to First Winter.
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DAMON RUSSELL, “SNOW ON THA BLUFF”

The line separating documentary and narrative film aesthetics has never been more porous than it is now, but Damon Russell’s revelatory Snow on tha Bluff lives comfortably on that line. An incredible combination of found footage, no-budget narrative ingenuity and pulled-from-the-streets doc immediacy, it discovers in its incredibly charismatic and troubled protagonist, Curtis Snow, an American life many of us would probably rather forget about.