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Anti-litter commercials from amateur filmmakers wanted

The Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) invites local filmmakers to create Pittsburgh-centric public service announcements to send the message of the impact littering has on the local environment.  

Last fall, the PRC launched a campaign to encourage residents to share anti-litter messages via 21st-century technology such as social media and electronic communication. This year, the PRC continues its battle against littering by launching the second phase of its Crying Steelers Fan campaign, a take reminiscent of the widely aired 1970s campaign depicting a tearful Native American looking upon a spoiled urban landscape.

"Serving as the centerpiece of our campaign is the Crying Steelers Fan video, which strives to forge a connection between the region's pride and litter prevention," says PRC Regional Director Justin Stockdale.
According to Stockdale, notable Pittsburghers will select two winners. The winning entries will air on KDKA-TV later in the year. Submission deadline is July 3, 2015. Complete contest instructions available at http://prc.org/littercontest/.

CMU grad student awarded national prize for screenplay

Savannah Reich, a graduate student in the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama dramatic writing program, won the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Student Grand Jury Prize from the Tribeca Film Institute for Best Science-Themed Screenplay. The award recognizes the best student screenplay in the nation that uses science and technology themes in a narrative.

Reich wins $30,000 plus $20,000 if the screenplay goes into production. The Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize will boost development of the project and introduce Reich and her work to the industry at large.  

Learn more about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation here.

Pittsburgh among top 5 small cities for filmmakers

Pittsburgh placed No. 4 in the best small towns to live and work as a movie maker, according to film industry magazine MovieMaker. This is hopeful news for local talent since employment in the film business has long meant a move to Los Angeles. 

 “The one-time steel capital has transitioned to become a hotbed of entertainment production with heavy emphasis on nurturing a crew base and creating opportunities for aspiring filmmakers,” noted MovieMaker.  

Pittsburgh Film Office Director Dawn Keezer credits the city’s local resources as well as state tax incentives, which have helped to increase the local talent pool. “We’re in the top 10 of the first places people call when they’re thinking of locations,” the article quoted Keezer as saying.

See the full list of film-friendly cities here.

Steel City Movie Tours

Starting on May 31, Pittsburgh natives and tourists alike can venture through the city on a tour entitled “Lights! Camera! Pittsburgh!” that showcases the history of movies in Pittsburgh.

The Steel City has made its way onto the big screen with classics like Flashdance and Night of the Living Dead. More recently, Pittsburgh has been the backdrop for movies such as The Dark Knight Rises and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

"People still want to know where the restaurant was in 'Flashdance,” the director of Pittsburgh’s film office, Dawn Keezer, told the Tribune Review.

Pittsburgh-based filmmaker's documentary on Bitcoin premiers today at Tribeca Film Festival

Local filmmaker Nick Mross and his brother, Dan Mross are gaining national recognition for the documentary The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin, directed by the latter Mross and starring the former.

The Mross brothers were inspired to make the film back in 2011 after Dan’s obsession with the virtual currency piqued his brother’s curiosity. The documentary looks at the broader implications of Bitcoin through the lens of Dan’s preoccupation.

The documentary premiers today at the Tribeca Film Festival.  Check out their interview with Fox Business here.

Carnegie Museum of Art hosts controversial Iranian filmmaker

As a part of the 2013 Carnegie International, the Carnegie Museum of Art sponsored the first ever visit of controversial Iranian filmmaker, Kamran Shirdel, to the United States.

“Kamran Shirdel's films have been censored, banned and celebrated for documenting hidden parts of Iranian society — the plight of Tehran's prostitutes, the desperation of female prisoners, and the reality behind false heroes,” writes Kevin Begos for the Associated Press.

Shirdel began his career studying film in Italy under the likes of Roberto Rossellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini. When he returned to Iran in the mid-1960s, he was given a job creating films for the Ministry of Culture and Art, though he was soon expelled for failing to portray the prosperous images the Shah was hoping to propagate. He went on to create several documentaries exposing the margins of life in Tehran.

Until now, Shirdel’s work has not been well known in the United States. A professor of Iranian Film at Northwestern University, Hamid Naficy says his work will be eye-opening for Americans who don’t know much about Tehran.

Though Shirdel’s engagement in Pittsburgh has ended, he will be travelling to California and New York for speaking engagements at Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Columbia University.

Where are the heroes for the August Wilson Center

The failure of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in downtown Pittsburgh has become the subject of curiosity for many who question why the institution, in a city that favors underdogs, was allowed to fail.

“Where was the voice and the person who was pointing at the Center, saying, 'Yes! No matter what, yes! Oh no, liquidation? No, we've got this, that's who we are,’” Vanessa German, a Pittsburgh artist told NPR.

It seems that financial mismanagement and construction budget overages found the $42 million center in the red even before the building on Liberty Avenue in the cultural district opened.

An article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests that the center alienated Pittsburgh’s African American population by abandoning early pioneers of African American culture in the city and by choosing to open downtown, instead of in a neighborhood such as Homewood or the Hill District.

"There are so many plays contained in this story, he would have a field day," German said of the center’s namesake. "Tragedy, disappointment, betrayal — that's the stuff of August Wilson's plays!"

*Note, this story was written by Pittsburgh's own Larkin Page-Jacobs of WESA.

A guide to Pittsburgh's indie movie theaters

Emma, a blogger for iheartpgh.com, offers up a twist on a familiar summer ritual. "When the weather starts heating up, sometimes the only thing to do is go inside. This season many of us will take to the air-conditioned refuge of our local megaplexes. To switch things up, I offer you a list of local independently owned theaters. Many of the theaters screen the same new releases, but also provide character and unique programming."

To read Emma's sweet guide to Pittsburgh's little guy theaters, click here.

Christian Bale emerges 'Out of the Furnace'

Christian Bale returned to the Pittsburgh area to film another movie, but he won't be playing Batman this time. Bale's character, Russell Baze, is a far more down-to-earth, blue collar guy caught in a difficult situation. "To capture the blue-collar spirit, Cooper insisted on filming in Braddock, Pa., where he set the story. The director was impressed with the way Bale immersed himself, taking none of his own clothing on the shoot — wearing only what Russell would wear. Bale also experienced work on the steel furnace.

"It's long hours, unhealthy conditions and intense heat.," says Bale. "It's dangerous work. The guys had recently lost a friend who had died on the job. But there's a great bond. And they have a love for it, despite the hardships."

Bale and the other actors — the cast also includes Forest Whitaker, WIllem Dafoe, Sam Shepard and Zoe Saldana — were also able to find character role models in the town. Bale recorded a local man at length to get a handle on the tricky Braddock accent."

To read more about what actors call "the process" and Braddock's role in the new movie, "Out of the Furnace." click here.

Pittsburgh the Movie: youtube video goin' viral

It's five glorious minutes of Pittsburgh scenes in a number of movies, from Flashdance to Dark Knight Rising.  See how many you can identify.

Watch it here.

Final Dark Knight Rises trailer is released

With the film's premiere less than a week away, the final Dark Knight Rises trailer has arrived. Watch it here.

Tony Buba, the bard of Braddock

Braddock, PA native Tony Buba once believed he was doomed not to live past the age of 21 as a steel-mill worker.  

So, how did inspiration from his blue-collar home town help him grow and flourish into a incredibly committed, political film extraordinaire with a bizarre comic sensibility? 

Read the full story here.

Take a shot! See kids' entries in this film contest

Check out these great videos from middle school and high school students and vote for your favorites!

Voting goes through May 15th. Then join the fun at the Heinz History Center at 2:00 on May 20 for the first ever "Take a Shot at Changing the World" Film Festival where the winners will be announced. Winning films will be screened, and the films of all attendees who RSVP by May 15th will be featured on the big screen. Get your free seat by e-mailing Rachel@steeltown.org

See videos here.

Is Pittsburgh the new Hollywood?

Is Pittsburgh the Hollywood of the east? With the new film partnerships--the Entertainment Technology Center and Knight Vision Studios--at 31st Studios, not to mention tax incentives and a growing talent pool, the buzz is only growing.

See the news video here.

Miss the Gotham fun? Here's a video of the Batwing in action.

If you missed seeing the Batwing in action this weekend, E! Online has a video of the massive vehicle making its way through the streets of downtown a.k.a. Gotham.  There's also a video of Anne Hathaway's stunt double playing Catwoman.  Get your Batman fix here.
25 Film Articles | Page: | Show All
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