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Review: ‘Lucky’ Takes a Steep Descent into NYC’s Criminal Underworld

It’s taken five years for Lucky (Bari Kang) to save the money and find the footing — no matter how much illegal activity both pursuits warranted — necessary to acquire a bride believable enough to fool Ins and earn his green card. He has a legit job as a mechanic with his “brother” Ricky’s (Daniel Jordano) garage during the day, helps “lose” customers’ taxis at night to earn extra cash from a fence while they receive insurance checks, and even procured himself a license from the shady jack-of-all-trades Sunny (Obaid Kadwani) to look the part of a legitimate immigrant before the law renders it official. Finally the time has arrived to take that next step forward just as fate enters to show this kind-hearted soul the irony of his name.

Kang as writer/director foreshadows this quickly spiraling destruction of his character’s dream by starting his debut feature Lucky
See full article at The Film Stage »

A Gambler is Out of Luck in Exclusive Trailer for Erik Reese’s ‘Dead Bullet’

Coming off of the drug caper Down and Dangerous, which we covered upon its release, director Zak Forsman has shifted roles to executive produce the new feature Dead Bullet, which comes from the creative collective known as Sabi and stars John T. Woods. Written and directed by newcomer Erik Reese, we’re pleased to exclusive premiere the first trailer, which is bristling with frenetic energy and proves how one can achieve a high quality production value, despite being produced on a micro-budget.

The soundtrack for the Gary King-produced film also features 19 eclectic musical artists from the 60s and 70s as well as some modern-day hip-hop artists. The drama will have its world premiere next month at the Tucson Film and Music Festival, before hitting the festival circuit and hopefully be available to check out via streaming services in the not too distant future. In the meantime, check out the trailer
See full article at The Film Stage »

A Pulpy Caper, Down and Dangerous Is 85 Minutes of Cheap Thrills

A Pulpy Caper, Down and Dangerous Is 85 Minutes of Cheap Thrills
Writer-director Zak Forsman's pulpy caper about a principled, immaculately bearded cocaine smuggler trying to outwit a crooked, fabulously bearded DEA agent channels decades of morally murky Los Angeles crime flicks from To Live and Die in L.A. to Heat to Drive.

But it's got a few sharp moves of its own, particularly when it digs into the ingenious how-to of sneaking contraband across the Mexican border.

Cinematographer Addison Brock III makes the golden days and swimming-pool-blue nights look stylish and expensive, and Deklun's synthy score pulses with phony but attractive urgency.

Things get wobbly when our lone-wolf smuggler (John T. Woods — the name matches the beard) forsakes his characteristic meticulousness to partner up with ...
See full article at Village Voice »

Cocaine and Principles Make Uneasy Partners In Down And Dangerous Trailer

'My father was a cocaine smuggler' sounds like a great inspiration for a movie. Filmmaker Zak Forsman credits his father, who briefly worked in the drug trade, as the creative spark behind Down and Dangerous, which will enjoy its world premiere at the Phoenix (Arizona) Film Festival with screenings on April 5-7. The film is an original project that benefited from crowdfunding. Here's the official synopsis: Always one step ahead of the Feds, Paul Boxer is the most inventive and principled smuggler in the trade, and has never needed to carry a gun. When violent mid-level traffickers coerce him into designing a foolproof plan to bring several kilos of cocaine across the México border, he maneuvers to rid himself of their hold over him once...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

‘Down and Dangerous’ Trailer is a Crowdfunded Cocaine Thriller

Haven’t heard of Down and Dangerous? You’re not alone. It features no big name stars (except Judd Nelson!), doesn’t come from an established director and hasn’t been anywhere near a studio, but the action thriller from Zak Forsman scored $38k through a slick KickStarter campaign (I hear they even auctioned off the C in the director’s first name). It was his pitch video that impressed then, and it’s the production’s trailer that impresses this time around. The plot focuses on an incredibly crafty cocaine smuggler (John T. Woods) stuck between the Feds, violent traffickers and a beautiful woman. No ground broken there, but the film comes directly from Forsman’s father’s experiences as a cocaine smuggler in the 1970s. Plus, the trailer is high quality in just about every regard, including its levels of Judd Nelson-ness: Why, it’s a veritable lesson in the cocaine trade. Down
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Watch: First Trailer for Kickstarter-Funded Film 'Down and Dangerous'

A smuggler bleeds like anyone else. He just gets more chances to prove it. I think what they prove here is how far you can go with a little bit of money. Our friends at The Film Stage have tipped us to a trailer for Down and Dangerous, directed by Zak Forsman and The Sabi Company, a cocaine smuggling drama starring John T. Woods (Heart of Now, S-vhs). Forsman is well known in the crowdfunding world for his many projects, but this is his latest, an impressively well-made microbudget crime thriller called Down and Dangerous that looks like it belongs at major film festivals. Give it a shot, you'll see it actually looks great. Watch the first official trailer for Zak Forsman's Down and Dangerous, found via The Film Stage: Always one step ahead of the Feds, Paul Boxer (Woods) is the most inventive and principled smuggler in the trade,
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

5 Kickstarter Tips From The National Film Society

The guys at the National Film Society recently succeeded in the Kickstarter campaign for their Awesome Asian Bad Guys web series. (Featured, by the way, on Filmmaker’s curated Kickstarter page….) They’ve posted a thank-you video offering their top five Kickstarter campaign tips:

Speaking of Kickstarter, Zak Forsman’s piece on how to do a campaign is one of the best things we’ve ever published on the site. Bookmark it for when you do your own campaign.

P.S. While linking to the National Film Society above I came across their latest video, a “Who Is Jean-Luc Godard” spot. If only for the line dancing at the end, I’m posting it here.

… Read the rest
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Eight Things Alex Holdridge Misses About L.A.

As expected, Alex Holdridge’s inspirational interview — about the creative boost he received from making a life change and swapping L.A. and “the system” for a very different life in Berlin — prompted some spirited discussion in the comments section.

In case you read the article but not any of the dialogue that followed on from it, it’s definitely worth flagging up one of the comments — from Holdridge himself — that responded to director Zak Forsman’s list of things he loved about Los Angeles.

Here’s what Holdridge had to say:

I spent 8 years living there, making a film and writing many scripts. It offers all you said and more. As a point of clarification, of course I will be going to La frequently to meet with actors and people in the industry. In fact, part of the new film takes place in La. I simply needed new inspiration
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

The Microbudget Conversation: Down And Dangerous

In sticking with our “Do Your Homework” theme, this week on the conversation we dissect one aspect of the micro-budget equation – crowdfunding. As someone who is about to use Kickstarter for the first time, I felt it was best to leave you in the capable hands of someone who had not only successfully met his goal, but who doubled it. Zak Forsman is no stranger to the world of microbudget filmmaking and I love his advice on crafting a great campaign. At Ifp week I heard tons of questions from filmmakers on how to wrestle the task of a good crowdfunding campaign. Very few panelists had a good answer, or the success that Zak has had. Perhaps this is because no two campaigns are alike. It’s always best to see what has worked for others, then add your unique take, and hand tailored strategy. This isn’t the first
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

The New Breed L.A. #7: “Screening The Cut”

“Don’t make your festival premiere your first test screening,” I always say to the filmmakers who take the Ifp Narrative Lab. It’s sounds basic, but you’d be surprised at how many filmmakers I’ve come across who never properly screen their cuts with an audience before taking them out into the world. In this final episode of The New Breed‘s series on filmmakers and their creative process shot at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Marwencol director Jeff Malmberg and producer Ted Hope discuss their late-edit screening processes. Thanks to Zak Forsman and Kevin Shah of Sabi Pictures and to the Workbook Project for their work and collaboration with this series. Go back and watch all the episodes here. New...
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

The Duplass Brothers Talk Studios And Snuggling

Alica Van Couvering’s interview with Mark and Jay Duplass in the current issue of Filmmaker was conducted at the Sundance Film Festival, where their latest film, Cyrus, premiered. Starring John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei and Jonah Hill, the film is a comedy/drama about mid-life romance and the borderline aggro-child that stands in its way. Alicia’s interview was filmed by Zak Forsman, Kevin Shah and the Sabi Pictures team, and here’s an edit of their conversation. See more videos on our YouTube channel. The film opens Friday, June 18.
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Floria Sigismondi On “The Runaways”

While at Sundance I sat down with director Floria Sigismondi to discuss her debut feature, The Runaways, starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as Joan Jett and Cherie Curie. I’ve been a fan of Floria’s for years, and with The Runaways she has brought her keen sense of place and design to convincingly recreate the Los Angeles rock scene of the ’70s. We talked about the origins of the movie, her cinematic inspirations (Christianne F.!), and getting the City of Angels right. Thanks to Sabi Picture’s Zak Forsman, Kevin Shah and Jamie Cobb for shooting and editing the piece.
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

New Breed Park City: Exploring The Solutions 3

Hot off the hard drive, here is the latest episode of the New Breed's Park City series. This one pulls together producers and directors to talk about the strategic, pro-active steps they are taking to connect their films to audiences. The official word: Sabi filmmakers Zak Forsman and Kevin K. Shah pick up with Ted Hope where he left off in the last episode to further explore the solutions that are emerging for independent filmmakers. He is joined by Mynette Louie (Children of Invention) and new interviews with Sultan Sharrief (Bilal's Stand), Lance Weiler (HiM), and Scilla Andreen (IndieFlix). New Breed Park City - Exploring The Solutions, Part 3 from Sabi Pictures on Vimeo.
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

The New Breed Explores The Solutions, Part 2

In the continuing series of videos by Sabi Pictures executive produced by Filmmaker and the Workbook Project, here's part 2 on the subject of exploring solutions: Sabi filmmakers Zak Forsman and Kevin K. Shah speak with Dan Mirvish, Brian Newman, Ira Deutchman and Ted Hope to further explore the solutions that are emerging for independent filmmakers – featuring a proposal for a new relationship between filmmakers and festivals as outlined by Peter Baxter at the 2010 Filmmaker Summit. New Breed Park City – Exploring the Solutions, Part 2 from Sabi Pictures on Vimeo. Watch New Breed videos.
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

The New Breed Explores The Solutions In Park City

Here's the latest in the continuing series of videos by Sabi Pictures executive produced by Filmmaker and the Workbook Project. The official word: Sabi filmmakers Zak Forsman and Kevin K. Shah speak with Ted Hope, Jon Reiss, Mynette Louie (Children of Invention) and Linas Phillips (Bass Ackwards) to explore the solutions that are emerging for independent filmmakers – featuring some of the insights and actions that came from the 2010 Filmmaker Summit. New Breed Park City – Exploring the Solutions, Part 1 from Sabi Pictures on Vimeo. Watch all New Breed videos.
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Seeking The Answers With The New Breed In Park City

If you've been following the videos we've posted here in the New Breed series by Sabi Pictures, you've by now recognized that a rhetorical storyline around the issue of alternative distribution is being constructed. Here's the latest, entitled "Seeking the Answers, Part 2." Scroll back through the previous posts for the others in the series. The official word: Sabi filmmakers Zak Forsman and Kevin K. Shah move away from identifying the questions toward some possible answers that may, in fact, lead to the solutions we seek. Insights from Linas Phillips (Bass Ackwards), Jon Reiss and Brian Newman are fleshed out with more thoughts from the pre-Filmmaker Summit roundtable. New Breed Park City – Seeking the Answers, Part 2 from Sabi...
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Sundance Filmmakers Linas Phillips And Habib Azar Join The New Breed

Here's the third of our New Breed videos on new distribution ideas and paradigms at the Sundance Film Festival. The intro: Sabi filmmakers Zak Forsman and Kevin K. Shah move away from identifying the questions toward some possible answers that may, in fact, lead to the solutions we seek. Insights from Linas Phillips (Bass Ackwards), Habib Azar (Armless), Dan Mirvish, and Brian Newman are fleshed out with more thoughts from the pre-Filmmaker Summit roundtable. New Breed Park City – Seeking the Answers, Part 1 from Sabi Pictures on Vimeo. Watch all the New Breed videos.
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Solution-based: New Breed At Park City Part 2

Here's the second of the New Breed videos discussing the current and future states of distribution. From the makers: Filmmakers Zak Forsman and Kevin K. Shah of Sabi Pictures arrive at Park City with an intent to define the questions most relevant to independent distribution options. Insights from Brian Newman, Dan Mirvish, Jon Reiss and Ira Deutchman open a path toward discovering some real solutions. New Breed Park City – Discovering the Questions from Sabi Pictures on Vimeo. Watch New Breed Part 1.
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Preparing For A New World At The Find Filmmaker Forum

Here is director Zak Forsman's second post from the Find Filmmaker Forum, which took place in Los Angeles last weekend. In the men’s room of the DGA, I overheard a conversation by two gentlemen who had sat through two full days of panels at Film Independent’s Filmmaking Forum. One in particular was mentally exhausted, “I don’t know, should I hire a producer’s rep or a publicist? Should I be blogging? Tweeting?” He joked, dismissing them with a laugh. The man standing with him simply answered, “Yes.” And it reminded me of the post-event murmur I heard at Diy Days La last year. Moving between pockets of attendees, I was struck by the inclination to dismiss the content of the panels, presentations and case studies from that day. ...
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

How Drama Died At The Filmmaker Forum

Film Independent's Filmmaker Forum is underway this weekend, and we asked writer/director Zak Forsman to attend and report back. Here's the first of his posts. I’ve just locked picture on my first feature-length motion picture and it seems I couldn’t be entering the world of distribution at a worse time. I strolled into the DGA in Los Angeles for day one of the Film Independent Filmmaker Forum optimistic and eager. I left it determined to batten down the hatches in preparation for stormy seas ahead. Veteran producer Jeremy Thomas (Creation, The Last Emperor, Crash) keynote opened with the concession that these are tough times for filmmakers making art house cinema for “sentient human beings,” as he put it. While he rejected the...
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »
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