Saturday, August 15, 2020

Clapboard Jungle: Surviving the Independent Film Business - Fantasia 2020 Documentary Review

The Documentary: Clapboard Jungle: Surviving the Independent Film Business

The Director: Justin McConnell

The Story: Following five years in the life and career of an independent filmmaker, supported by dozens of interviews, posing one question: how does an indie filmmaker survive in the current film business?

The Review:
This is a really fun and informative documentary about what it's like for independent film makers who are trying to are trying to realize their creative dreams while also navigating the business of an industry that seems to care less and less about art. Justin McConnell seems like a straight up dude who loves movies and has a genuine passion for not only watching them but making them as well and being part of that world. Watching him learn from a process that is in no way easy to navigate was very interesting to watch unfold as you can see him growing as a director, as a business man, and even as a person.

One thing I noticed while watching this documentary is how the entire industry can be boiled down to a bunch of white dudes talking to a bunch of other white dudes about making movies and somewhere in there some movies get made. While diversity within the industry has improved, this look at the inner workings which takes plays over several years, is a glaring example that there is a lot of work that still needs to be done and you do see bits and pieces of that taking shape within the film.

As a film critic, this movie gives me a lot of great perspective on what it takes to actually make a movie especially on the level of independent films and I have a ton of respect for people who choose to navigate these waters. I was really happy to see McConnell experience the success he had worked so hard for over the years and I hope his story is able to inspire and inform future film makers as they attempt to get their own films made.

Clapboard Jungle is an official selection of the 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival.

To see more reviews, interviews, and festival coverage please go to: TwoOhSix at Fantasia 2020

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