IFP sets its peek performances


Producer Effie Brown's biopic "Exactly Like You," based on the life of transgender jazz musician Billy Tipton, is among the 168 independent projects selected for the 29th annual IFP Market.

The IFP Market for industry professionals, which runs Sunday-Thursday in New York, is part of the Manhattan-based independent filmmaker organization's Independent Film Week, which also features the public Filmmaker Conference and the IFP Awards Luncheon.

More than half of the projects selected for this year's market are documentaries, with 46% of the projects at script stage.

The projects are invited to participate in three sections: No Borders International Co-Production Market, Spotlight on Documentaries and Emerging Narratives.

IFP executive director Michelle Byrd said that the IFP Market offers an environment for individuals in independent film to begin "the long road to building heat, excitement and money" for projects.

Among the events is an exclusive 28-minute sneak peek of upcoming projects either near completion or on the festival circuit from the U.K. Film Council's New Cinema Fund, including Sarah Gavron's "Brick Lane," Duane Hopkins' "Better Things" and Peter Greenaway's "Nightwatching."

South Africa's National Film and Video Foundation will return as a No Borders partner supporting several projects, including "The Dictator," a spoof about modern Africa from writer-producer Kagiso Lediga and producer Ann Roberts.

Other notable No Borders projects seeking additional partners are "Desert Flower," from Oscar-winning producer Peter Herrmann ("Nowhere in Africa"); the romantic comedy "Rose of Sharon" from producer Graham Leader ("In the Bedroom"); and "Cold Souls," an existential comedy from Paul Mezey ("Half Nelson"), with Paul Giamatti attached to star.

Among the Spotlight in Documentaries projects seeking financing partners, distribution and festival invites are "Upside Down & Backwards," from Oscar-winning directors John Canemaker and Peggy Stern ("The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation"), and directors Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman's "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front."

A first for the market will be the Raw Word Reading Series, featuring professional actors reading 10-12 pages from nominees for the Emerging Narrative Screenplay Award.

Among the 40 project participants in Emerging Narratives are five filmmakers from the Korean Film Council's Filmmakers Development Lab, including Jeyun Choi, Christina Choe, Nathan Adolfson and Gene Rhee. All Emerging Narrative participants will have a chance to meet over two days with several producers, including Lydia Dean Pilcher ("Vanity Fair") and Lee Daniels ("Monster's Ball").

Over the years, 7,000 independent projects have been featured at the event, including "Maria Full of Grace," "Clerks," "The Brothers McMullen" and "Mad Hot Ballroom."