November Sita screenings

We have a whole mess o’ festival screenings coming up in November. The ones I will actually be at, in person:

NEW YORK, Nov 8 and 9:

Saturday, Nov. 8, 11:00 am
Sunday, Nov. 9, 11:00 am
IFC Center (323 6th Ave @W 4th St., Greenwich Village)

These matinee screenings are part of the New York Children’s Film Festival. (Sita isn’t exactly a kid’s movie, but it plays very well to older kids and teens and their parents)

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 13:

Nov. 13: 7:00 pm and 9:15 pm with a reception in between.
Opening the San Francisco International Animation Festival
Landmark’s Embarcadero Center Cinema (Battery @ Clay st, downtown SF)

NEW YORK again:

Thursday Nov. 20, 6:00 pm
Saturday Nov.

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“copyright was designed by distributors, to subsidize distributors, not creators.”

Read more at QuestionCopyright.org. Or continue reading here after the fold – the author, Karl Fogel, actually wants people to read his essay – imagine that! – and therefore grants permission for all to copy it.

Continue reading “copyright was designed by distributors, to subsidize distributors, not creators.”

Congratulations to Greg Sextro

Greg Sextro was Sita‘s sound designer, and my closest collaborator on the film. He also did the sound design for Bill Plympton‘s latest feature, Idiots and Angels, which just won BEST SOUND at the 2nd Annual 2morrow International Festival of Contemporary Cinema in Moscow. Yay!

Greg Sextro was Sita‘s sound designer, and my closest collaborator on the film. He also did the sound design for Bill Plympton‘s latest feature, Idiots and Angels, which

Continue reading Congratulations to Greg Sextro

יום האנימציה הבין לאומי

I never learned Hebrew so I don’t know what that headline means – I just cut and pasted the name of the jpeg Gilat sent me. I do know Sita Sings the Blues will screen with Hebrew subtitles at Holon Cinimateq/Animateq on November 12 for Animation Day. I won’t be there (I’ll be in San Francisco) but my ASIFA-Israel friends will be. Tell your Hebrew-knowing friends!

I never learned Hebrew so I don’t know what that headline means – I just cut and pasted the name of the jpeg Gilat sent me. I do

Continue reading יום האנימציה הבין לאומי

Comics! Animation! Post-Modern Literalist Irony!

Pipe Wrench Fight!
Hat tip

Continue reading Comics! Animation! Post-Modern Literalist Irony!

Publicity Bitch sez: Awards!

It doesn’t come off as humble, but my alter-ego Publicity Bitch has some exciting awards news about Sita Sings the Blues.

First, from the the 37th Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montreal:

the prestigious Z Télé Grand Prize – prestigious because it is voted upon by those who actually buy tickets to films in the festival – went to Sita Sings the Blues, Nina Paley’s riotous animated musical appropriation of the Indian lit classic, Ramayana, billed as “the Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told.” (link)

Thank you, Montreal!

Second, today IFP announced its nominees for the 2008 Gotham Awards:

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You™

Afterschool
Antonio Campos, director; Josh Mond, Sean Durkin,

Continue reading Publicity Bitch sez: Awards!

Free Annette Hanshaw “Sita” soundtrack!

Music collector Matthew Lanoue has made available as free downloads the Annette Hanshaw songs used in Sita Sings the Blues. These recordings are only available anywhere due to the efforts of record collectors, NOT Big Media corporations. Thanks Matthew!  

Update – today, October 18, is Annette Hanshaw’s birthday! How’s that for fortuitous timing? Hat tip to Stewart and Steven for emailing me.

Music collector Matthew Lanoue has made available as free downloads the Annette Hanshaw songs used in Sita Sings the Blues. These recordings are only available anywhere due to

Continue reading Free Annette Hanshaw “Sita” soundtrack!

Free Culture

If you want to know more about how the American copyright system became broken, and why instead of fostering creative innovation like it used to, it now suppresses it, read Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig. Heck, read it anyway. You can buy the printed book or download it for free. It illuminates everything Sita Sings the Blues is up against, and why you should care.

If you want to know more about how the American copyright system became broken, and why instead of fostering creative innovation like it used to, it now suppresses

Continue reading Free Culture

Meet Aseem Chhabra!

In addition to being a professional journalist, desi cultural maven, and all-around entertaining guy, Aseem was the voice of “Shadow Puppet #1″ in Sita Sings the Blues. He’ll be representing the film at some upcoming Southern California screenings*:

Monday, Oct. 13, 8:30 pm
RedCat Cinema
631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles CA

Thursday, October 16, 7:00pm
with sound designer Greg Sextro!
ArtPower at UC San Diego/The Loft
9500 Gilman Drive #0078, La Jolla, CA 92093

Have

Continue reading Meet Aseem Chhabra!

…and on the Speech frontlines in India:

Salil Tripathi wrote an informative, well-informed article about whether Sita Sings the Blues can avoid being banned in India. It’s in the Far-Eastern Economic Review, and to read the whole thing you have to subscribe ($120 yikes!), but if you’re already a subscriber do check it out.

Salil Tripathi wrote an informative, well-informed article about whether Sita Sings the Blues can avoid being banned in India. It’s in the Far-Eastern Economic Review, and to read

Continue reading …and on the Speech frontlines in India:

Lessons Wrong and Right

From today’s ASIFA-SF Newsletter by Karl Cohen:

After interviewing Normand Roger about sound design and using original music, I became aware of somebody who chose to use prerecorded music without first clearing the rights to use it. It can be a costly mistake if you want your work seen by the public.

I asked a film distributor what are the person’s options about getting a film out without having all rights to the music cleared. He said, “They are screwed. Over and over filmmakers use music they should never use without getting the rights. The music owners now figure they have to pay whatever they ask. Or change the music. That is

Continue reading Lessons Wrong and Right

Best Script in Athens!

Sita Sings the Blues won Best Script at the Athens International Film Festival. It’s an honor I credit to Sita’s talented collaborators, especially Manish Acharya, Aseem Chhabra and Bhavana Nagulapally, who improvised all the narration.

Sita also received an Honorable Mention for “Best Animated Feature Film” at the Ottawa Animation Festival.

So the film is in excellent health, even while I am a quivering wreck.

Sita Sings the Blues won Best Script at the Athens International Film Festival. It’s an honor I credit to Sita’s talented collaborators, especially Manish Acharya, Aseem Chhabra and

Continue reading Best Script in Athens!

Obamarama / Ram Leela in New York Oct. 4

Sita collaborator Pooja Kumar (Surphanaka) points our attention to a good ol’-fashioned Ram Leela at Lincoln Center in New York. This is a much more traditional presentation of the story of Rama (it’s “a victory of good over evil”) in contrast to my very personal, unconventional spin in Sita Sings the Blues. Here are some commercials from youtube:

The Ram Leela is Saturday, October 4 at 3:30 pm at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.

That same day, other Sita collaborator Aseem Chhabra (Shadow Puppet #1) hosts South Asian Writers Speak Out for Obama, a fundraiser featuring Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kiran Desai, Suketu Mehta, Manil Suri, and Akhil Sharma, with filmmaker Mira

Continue reading Obamarama / Ram Leela in New York Oct. 4

Dear Apologists for Immoral and Unconstitutional Laws

Can you believe that lady? High ideals are all well and good, but she knew the rules. So unprofessional! She didn’t have to take that bus. If you don’t like the rules, don’t ride the bus. I’m an industry professional, and I give up my seat all the time – that’s what “professional” means. What if it were YOUR bus? You certainly wouldn’t want just any riff-raff riding it as they pleased. Plus if she’s so great, she should have raised $220,000 for skin-lightening cream – problem solved. Or buy her own bus! But no, she thinks she’s so special. What a whiner.

Too bad people forget the story of Rosa Parks

Continue reading Dear Apologists for Immoral and Unconstitutional Laws