The Gotham Independent film awards will host a charity auction to benefit the Independent Filmmaker Project, IFP. The auction will run from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2, 2010. The nonprofit organization, IFP, is the largest and oldest independent filmmaker organization in the United States.

Anyone can post a live bid on the items through Ebay and the prices start at $500.

Some of the items available for bidding include: a game of ping pong with Susan Surandon, two tickets to Saturday Night Live, backstage passes to “Time Stands Still” and a meet-and-greet with actress Christina Ricci.

 

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Insurge, a subdivision of Paramount, just launched the trailer for its first production, “Justin Bieber: Never say Never.”

Paramount initially planned on committing $1 million to Insurge to produce 10 films, each with a $100,000 budget. Over the course of half a year, the smaller studio remains undefined. The label may not stick to its $100,000 mandates, because of the success of “Paranormal Activity,” which lead to the creation of the studio.

As of now, there is only one homegrown production within the studio, and that’s the 3D Justin Bieber concert documentary, “Never Say Never.” According to Variety, the Insurge is using social media to promote the film, and it will be in theaters Feb. 14, 2011.

Read more about Insurge, Paramount and “Never say Never” on Filmmaker.

On Nov. 10, the Women in Film Foundation selected its grant recipients for the Film Finishing Fund. In its 25th year, the program received an array of applications from 11 countries, including South Africa, Spain and the Philippines.

The WIF FFF chose from 140 applications in categories such as narrative and documentary features. The popular movie renting program, Netflix, donated $50,000 in grants to the foundation. WIF FFF has funded programs such as “Woman Rebel” on HBO and”Freeheld,” an Oscar-winning documentary short.

 

Eli Roth is set to produce two upcoming films, “Aftershock” and “Clown.” Roth, known for his acting roles in “Inglorious Bastards” and “Cabin Fever” will be working overseeing the production of two new horror films. Roth also directed the more recent horror film, “Hostel,” which is set in Europe. The two films are set to commence production in 2011. “Clown” started out as a fake movie trailer on YouTube, but was well-received and will now be a feature-length film.

“Aftershock” is described as a high-octane-horror-thriller, and is set in the aftermath of the Chilean earthquake in February 2010. Read more about Roth and the two films here: “Clown” and “Aftershock”

Here is the fake trailer for “Clown” that sparked the interest in Roth producing the film:

The Beat Generation writers are without a doubt influential parts of both American life and culture. In the recently released film, “Howl,” documentary filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman celebrate this poem by bringing it alive again through film.

Famous actors such as James Franco, Jon Hamm, David Strathairn, Mary-Louise Parker and Jeff Daniels star in “Howl” and bring recognizable names and contrasting personalities to the film. The directors used black and white, color and animation provide a different, modern perspective to the story.

Read an interview with Independent Film Quarterly and the two filmmakers to learn more about “Howl.”

The Gotham Awards, an independent film awards ceremony, just announced its newest category, Festival Genius Audience Award.

According to Joana Vicente, executive director of the IFP( independent feature project), the purpose of the new award is to “to promote films on the festival circuit through audience participation.” The award will give audience members a chance to vote for their favorite films on the Gotham Awards website.

Users can read about the five nominated films and cast their vote for their top pick of the bunch. The five films were selected by voters from 26 eligible films, and there were more than 12,000 votes cast on the Gotham’s website.

To read more about the new award, check out indiewire.com.

Bill Plympton, a two-time Oscar winning animator, has just released his new wordless, animated film, “Idiots and Angels.”

This dark comedy is about a gun runner’s war with his better nature. The individual finds it necessary to throw alarm clocks at the birds singing outside of his window every morning. But don’t worry, the moral of the story comes with wings, as he grows some and then is forced to do good deeds.

His inner turmoil is marked when he consults a surgeon to remove the wings, and he will no longer do things to better the lives of others. Plympton was also a published illustrator, political cartoonist and even the producer of a series of animated MTV shorts. Check out Filmmaker Magazine to read more about Plympton and the film.

The Amazonas Film Festival in Manaus, Brazil opened last night and brought spectators to a “temple of art,” as well as film.

The festival, just completing its 7th year, took place in a 700 seat opera house that was taken from Europe, brick by brick in the 19th century, because of Amasonas’ love for the arts.

The government recently put in millions of dollars to revitalize and improve the quality of this artsy house, which is called the Teatro Amasonas.

The festival opened with a screening of Lucy Walker’s “Waste Land,” which examines a Brazilian artist who uses garbage to change the lives of people who live in his community.

The festival runs through Nov. 11; read more via Filmmaker Magazine.

The New Frontier, a Sundance program that represents emerging artists from various areas visual media, announced its line up of artists selected for the 2011 edition.

New Frontier represents artists from areas of film, art, performing arts, gaming and new media technology. The program, in its 5th year, gives emerging artists a chance to share their work and receive publicity and attention from audiences and fellow artists.

New Frontier will move its location to the Historic Miners Hospital in Park City, Utah. These presentations are free to the public, and will run from Jan. 20 to Jan. 30, 2011.

George Hickenlooper, 47, was found dead in his apartment Oct. 30, 2010. The filmmaker was said to have died of natural causes.

Hickenlooper directed a variety of narrative features and documentaries in his career, and is best known for his Emmy award-winning work on “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse,” “Factory Girl” and “Major of Sunset Strip.”

His latest movie, “Casino Jack,” is scheduled to be screened at the Starz Denver Film Festival.

Read more about Hickenlooper on the LA Times website: LA Times, Hickenlooper.