Sita held over 3rd week at IFC NY!

nina-paley1.jpg Click on the time to purchase tickets for a screening.

Wednesday Jan 6’s 7:55pm screening will be followed by a star-studded Q and A featuring Reena Shah (Sita), Todd Michaelsen (score), and Aseem Chhabra (Shadow Puppet #1), as well as myself. I will also do Q and A’s after every 7:55pm show through Sunday.

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Sita held over at IFC; now playing through January 5.

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Woo! New showtimes – Click on the time to purchase tickets for a screening.

I’m doing Q and A’s tonight and tomorrow after the 8:30ish shows, then Friday and Saturday after the 4:40pm shows. Then I might take a little break, who knows.

The Little Movie That Could

And the little Free Culture Activist that could, too:

Sita Sings the Blues at the IFC Film Center, New York Dec. 25 2009

Sita Sings the Blues at the IFC Film Center, New York Dec. 25 2009

T-shirt available here. Come see the movie! It closes Dec. 31.

FINALLY! Sita in NY Dec. 25-31

SitaDropsJewelry

Sita Sings the Blues plays for one week at New York’s IFC Film Center, Dec. 25-31. This is a real theatrical run, with 7 or 8 screenings a day. I’ll be doing Q & A’s at the 8:25 pm shows most (possibly all) nights. Tickets online!

The schedule so far (click on the time to purchase tickets):

IFC Film Center has beautiful screens and is located at 323 Sixth Avenue at West Third Street (map) in the West Village, right at the W. 4th St. Station (A, C, E, B, D, F, & V subway lines). Please tell all your NY friends and help us get butts in seats!

Sita @IFC NY, Dec-25-31

Finally the Sita IFC Film Center page is up. Tickets go on sale Monday Dec. 21. We begged them to do it sooner, but you’ll have to wait until Monday!SitaDropsJewelry

Bill Cheswick’s New Way to See Movies

Bill Cheswick prints entire films – I’m talkin’ every single frame of the film – on giant rolls of paper. Because Sita is open licensed, he was able to make cool new art with it without my permission, but he gave me this 30-foot-long print anyway!

Ceswick_Levis_SitaPrintout

From Cheswick’s site:

Of course, I would like to try this on many other movies. The problem is one of copyright violation. While some argue this is fair use, it is clearly debatable, and I am not trying to blaze new legal ground here.

I’m glad Sita’s open license removes that obstacle. I wouldn’t want to be left out of this party!

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Sita NYC Theatrical Run Dec. 25-31, IFC Center

That’s all I know so far – a multiple-shows-a-day run of Sita Sings the Blues at New York’s IFC Film Center, starting Dec. 25 (aka “Chrismas) and closing Dec. 31 (aka “New Year’s Eve”). More info like exact screening times and how to buy tickets coming soon. Mark your calendars! Tell your friends! Help us promote it! I love you!

IFC#1

Nell Minow: Film Reviewer, “CEO Killer”

So there I was reading an old New Yorker, and came across this article about a lawyer who exposes overpaid corporate CEOs. The name and the picture looked familiar. Could it be the same Nell Minow who interviewed me about Sita Sings the Blues? Why yes, it is! Turns out the “Movie Mom” is kicking ass and taking names in CEO land.

“I believe that what we’ve seen recently is a corporate takeover of the capitalist system, to the benefit of certain actors in that system and to the detriment of everybody else.” —Nell Minow, aka “the Movie Mom”

Filed under awesome.

Sita at AFI Fest! Grauman’s Chinese Theater Nov. 3rd

475px-Grauman's_Chinese_Theatre,_by_Carol_Highsmith_fixed_&_straightened

Sita Sings the Blues is an official selection at LA’s American Film Institute festival! She’ll be screening in 35mm on a gigantic screen in the 1,100-seat Grauman’s Chinese Theater:

10:00am on Tuesday, Nov. 3
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
(big house on Hollywood Blvd., not Mann’s Chinese Six on 3rd floor H&H complex)
6925 Hollywood Blvd., LA, CA 90028

Parking at Hollywood & Highland complex
Enter on Highland at East side or Orange at West side

Thanks, AFI!

RiP: a Remix Manifesto

RiP: a Remix Manifesto is a fun, accessible introduction to “Intellectual Property.” Below is one of my favorite sections, showing how culture is more than just songs and images.

video platform
video management
video solutions
free video player

Of course it’s open source, so go watch the whole thing – or remix it.

Back from Nerd Central

And crazy busy. Chicago and Urbana and Ebertfest were great, amazing, beyond my ability to emotionally comprehend, I’ve never had a week like that before. Then to top it off, Sita won Best Narrative Feature at the Indian Film festival of Los Angeles, and moved to #1 on Critical Consensus. That’s just nuts.

Anyway, it was great being back in Urbana, my hometown, where nerds are made as well as born. I was raised nerd, by nerds, and it’s only a fluke that I appear to be an artist; my heart belongs to nerd-dom. Want proof? Here I am visiting family friend, genius, and art-supporter Theo Gray at Wolfram Research:ninatheo.jpg
My Free Culture activism is nerdy too, inspired as it is by the Free Software movement. Theo doesn’t like it, and made fiercely pro-copyright arguments as only a proprietary software nerd can.

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For contrast, here’s a picture of me with Richard Stallman in New York:
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Whose side am I on, anyway? The side of NERDS!

Back to Illinois

I left my hometown of Urbana, IL, almost 21 years ago, with dreams of becoming a new age crystal-wielding hippie. I was 20 years old. Now I’m 40 (almost 41!) and will be returning with a feature film, for a film festival that didn’t exist when I was growing up. But first: the University of Chicago!

Who’da thunk back in 1988, that I’d be blogging about this in 2009? We couldn’t even imagine blogs back then.

Sita DVD announcement list

We’re almost done authoring the Sita Sings the Blues DVD packaging and getting an order fulfillment service to ship it. Meanwhile, here’s something to do: sign up here with just your email address, and we’ll send you an mail with ordering information as soon as it’s ready.

Because the “content” is free – you can download it all online – what we’re actually selling is DVD packaging, not the film itself. This includes a nicely printed full color recycled cardstock “eco” case, and a silkscreened “pre-downloaded” DVD with the film and various features like subtitles, the trailer, and some video interviews of me ranting about copyright. The DVD is a nice package, a real object, and you can actually own it – it’ll still be there even if the internet (or your connection to it) disappears.

We’re planning two “Official” editions of the DVD packaging. The basic consumer version will be about $20:

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Then there’s the Artist’s Edition, which will be about $100. This will be a more elaborate package – 6 panels instead of 4 – numbered and signed by me. This edition will be limited to 4,999. Why 4,999? Because for every 5,000 DVDs sold, I have to make additional payments (beyond the $50,000 I have already paid) to the corporations that hold copyright monopolies on some of the music used in the film.  I don’t believe culture can be owned, and I’ve released my film under a free license to ensure that it can never be similarly trapped, but as long as the government enforces these monopolies, I must count DVDs.

Artist’s Edition

The cover art isn’t final but will be in a few days. I could use the “happy Sita” image on the artist’s edition, and the “artsy Sita” on the consumer version. Leave your suggestions now or forever hold your peace. Thanks!

Night of the Living Dead Business Model

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NYT article about corporate zombies here.

Oh, and also here! (thanks Tom Quinn!)

Larger poster image here (please copy).

Lloyd Kaufman Defines Media Consolidation

Lloyd Kaufman, Chairman of the IFTA, delivers a speech on media consolidation and the dangers it poses to independent art.