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In a dreamy year, Mild and Lovely finally on iTunesFandor and Vimeo-on-Demand  Butter on the Latch: iTunesFandorVimeo-on-Demand.

A new dream film kicks off soon! 

Would love your thoughts on art in community right now.

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It happened!  It’s done!  Holy s*&(, let's sleep for all of 2015…! 

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
This year, with your support and encouragement, my two feature films went to Berlin and a ton of other incredible festivals around the world, had their theatrical premiere in NY’s IFP Media Center and in Germany’s Sputnik Theatre and are finally available for purchase on iTunes, Fandor and Vimeo-on-Demand. 

Thou Wast Mild and Lovely: iTunesFandor and Vimeo-on-Demand

Butter on the Latch: iTunesFandorVimeo-on-Demand           

This is all a dream come true.  I am turning my eyes and ears toward new sounds and projects and am so grateful to have had your support on these last two.  Babies born.  Thank you.

(above is rainbow cake made by sweetheart genius (and a great actress) Katrina Lencek-Inagaki for our LA premiere of Thou Wast Mild and Lovely at AFI....  Thank you to all who came and saw and ate!!)

Also, my feature film Butter on the Latch made a Top 10 List of First Features in Indiewire!  Rent it hereAlso also, very exciting interview in RogerEbert earlier this week.  

A dream film
collective : unconscious

Dan Schoenbrun (a friend and producer) has cast me and four other filmmakers in a project to explore each other’s dreams.   I will trade dream notes with filmmaker/choreographer Lily Baldwin, filmmakers Frances Bodomo (Afronauts), Dan Carbone (Hide Your Smiling Faces) and Lauren Wolkstein (Social Butterfly), and we will each make one super magical, strange-as-your-face short film.  'Twill be a series direct from the subconscious. In a world of film increasingly marked by plot and high-level casting, this project is a unique opportunity to pursue a pure wilderness of vision. 
 
            Please take a look: 
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597323965/collective-unconscious-a-web-series?ref=nav_search

And if it's remotely possible to drop a few dollars in the Kickstarter bucket to help make it happen, we would be oh-so-happy.  As rewards, we can put your name in a dream, sing to you late at night or just wave from a faraway bridge on our/your way to nap nap land.  Many of these make terrific Christmas gifts!   Would love your help!

We even made a super wild and dreamy online film festival to celebrate making it to our halfway point.  Check it out!

In a week of gratitude, we ask questions.

At a recent Film Fatales meeting, we collectively responded to the question: What is our current responsibility as media-makers? 

I have also been asking myself: 
How do we find importance in what we are doing even when what we are doing does not directly address the huge questions brought up by a week like last week?
How do we find strength and purpose?
What is important about art?

For those of you outside the US, last week, country-wide protests broke out after the news that the officer Wilson who shot Mike Brown would not be indicted for his crime.  

I watched a doc about Joseph Chaiken this week as part of my coursework with Pig Iron Theater Company, and Ethan Hawke mentions Chaiken's response when the theater considered delaying his play's opening (Hawke was acting), which was scheduled for the day after September 11, 2001.  
In Ethan Hawke's recounting of the experience, Chaiken said (he had suffered a stroke and had aphasia): "Must do play!  Play is -- fathers, sons.  Imagination -- reality.  Towers fall.  Reality.  Play: Fathers, sons.  Towers go up."

What is the power of the imagination?
When and how can art help us to transcend division, pain?
 
This year, the incredible Mandy Ward of First Time Fest helped get our films' teams a bed and breakfast in upstate New York donated for a wild artist retreat weekend and film screening which will take place in early May. 

With The School of Making Thinking, I was going to curate something around nature and art (you know, the goat dream – you all read about it) – and allow botanists, filmmakers, wilderness experts, painters, artists and thinkers of all ilks to come together for a weekend of play, song, dance, learning, activism. 

But with unrest in Ferguson in the air and questions about our country on the rise, I would like to hear from you – what do you need from a weekend of play? 
What would you like to explore? 
What do you feel you/we need more of in our lives that might be aided through a collaborative weekend outside the city?
 
Please reply with any thoughts, ideas, or your own burning questions.

Forward and Back

I am aiming to spend this spring researching the prison system, continuing my rehearsals with the incredible cast of Movie No. 1 (my next feature film) and am grateful to be just home from Thanksgiving in Texas and a week at the Torino Film Festival!  I feel insanely fortunate to have spent this year sharing the films around the world and to have so many supportive people in my life.

Let me say this: food in Italy is intoxicating.  I was the recipient of some of the best food and drink of my life thanks to the festival's insanely warm hospitality and to some wonderful new friends there.  I highly recommend checking out the Collection Gaia outside the city.  Best contemporary art collection I have ever seen.  I actually cried while viewing it.

The Torino Film Festival featured my films in a special retrospective alongside a performance. Based on the subtle emotions that may flare up at holiday time, the performance, called “Thanks Giving Smash Living” explored what happens when we actually express our simmering emotions and move through them. With eight performers I had never met, we sat down to a typical American Thanksgiving dinner and let our darkest parts fly, literally. Below is a picture of me covered in spinach. 

The idea for the event came from a dinner at The School of Making Thinking, where I spontaneously led the table in a tantrum that revealed some very honest spaces and got me from a place of discomfort into a place of freedom, laughter and vulnerability.  

However, to return from such a lavish trip to an America wracked with racial conflict felt ----- well, beyond odd -- haunting, intense, confusing ------ and has inspired me to probe more deeply into how I make art and what questions I want to pose to myself and my audiences in it.  So far, my art has focused on the deeply personal challenges of self-expression.  How can we be radically honest?  How can we live out the inner revolution so that we may join an outer one?  The questions remain.

Some incredible films you MUST check out:


2 Days, 1 Night: I saw this at the AFI Film Festival and was blown away by this simple, haunting film by the Dardenne Brothers.  Issues of class, race, identity are subtly grappled with in this beautiful film with Marion Cotillard.

The Foxy Merkins -- Madeleine Olnek's insanely hilarious "lesbian hooker buddy comedy."  Playing THIS WEEK at the IFP Media Center in Dumbo!
 
Iva Radivojevic’s Evaporating Borders, which has won seemingly every documentary festival out there and which features her liquid, sensual style in an approach to the plights of asylum-seekers in Cyprus
 
Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love – Nominated for two Indie Spirit Awards and a Gotham Awards' Breakout Director, this wise film lets its heart out on a string that gets wound in all the wrong places. 
 
Evolution of a Criminal – Darius Clark Monroe’s deeply personal, thrilling film was nominated for an Indie Spirit Award.... and explores his personal story from bright kid to criminal to filmmaker
 
Also, ONLINE DREAM FILM FESTIVAL – our ‘dream team’ of collective:unconscious picked out our favorite dreamy projects and shared them!  Take a peek at the likes of Bunuel and Celia Rowlson Hall 
I am also thinking a lot about community, purpose and how we art-makers can offer alternatives to this high-speed madness we now consider life.  With The School of Making Thinking, I am hoping to buy some land this year to support artists making projects in silence and nature.  
 
            Thank you for your hands, your thoughts, your brightnesses, your visions, your films and your presence in my life. 
 
            We need each other, man.
 
            I am in school in Philadelphia (Pig Iron Theatre Company) right now, but when I’m back in NYC this summer, I would like to go on a barefoot walk with each of you.
 
            Huge hugs,
            Josephine
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