Life is busy – we’re kicking off a new year, narrowly avoiding CWII (Civil War II), inaugurating a new president, making Bernie memes, trading GameStop stocks, mourning nonagenarian acting legends (RIP Cloris and Cicely), and experiencing our first virtual Sundance. (Wait, this was all in the same month?) It can be tough to stay up-to-date on the latest film industry news, profiles, analysis, and advice. That’s why we’ve curated some essential reads you may have missed over the past month. So take some time to catch up with this month’s good reads.


This Month’s Good Reads (January 2021)

Rounding Up the Best Advice From Casting Directors of 2020 (via Elyse Roth for Backstage)
It’s never to late (or early) in a year for some good advice.

What Film Festivals Want: Festivals Tell Us Their Ideal Submissions and Pet Peeves (via Tim Molloy for MovieMaker Magazine)
Tips for your next festival submission.

Michael Apted Took the Very Long View (via Alissa Quart for The New Republic)
A look at the 55-year-long documentary project of the late director.

How to Film a Kissing Scene in a Pandemic (via Alex Zaragoza for Vice)
A COVID compliance officer on the ins and outs of on-screen smooching.

Long Live the Microcinema (via Nicolas Rapold for The Criterion Collection)
The perks of a scaled-down moviegoing experience.

Silver Screen: On Joan Micklin Silver (1935–2020) (via Carlos Valladares for n+1)
Remembering the groundbreaking director of Hester Street and Crossing Delancey.

How the Biden Presidency Will Really Impact Hollywood: 4 Key Areas to Watch (via Eriq Gardner for The Hollywood Reporter)
Stopping this whole coronavirus thing would be super helpful.

How Do You Act Drunk On Screen? (via Nicholas Barber for BBC)
Singing and dancing and stunts are cool, but a true performer gets properly pretend-tipsy.

The 50 Best Cult Movies (via The Ringer)
50 greats for your next midnight movie.

Why All DVD Commentary Tracks Should Be Available as Podcasts (via Joe Berkowitz for Fast Company)
The new generation of cinephiles deserves to hear behind-the-scenes gossip and semi-film school technical chatter too!


In case you were ignoring us (aka blatant self-promotion)

30th Gotham Awards – Winners & Nominees
Nomadland took home the top prize at this year’s virtual ceremony. See who else won big.

SAGindie’s Sundance 2021 Movie Picks
Our staff’s must-see list for this year’s virtual Sundance.

2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards – Nominees
Gothams are in the bag. Now on to the Spirits!


A video worth watching

A great arts and crafts project for those who have been missing the theatrical experience (via @kingsley_tom)

How ’bout you? Read anything good this month?


If you’re an independent filmmaker or know of an independent film-related topic we should write about, email for consideration.

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