September 15 2006 
 Independent Filmmakers Alliance Newsletter
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The IFA presents an exclusive interview with the talented Nikki Reed starring the movie Thirteen .

 13 was a Lucky Number for Nikki Reed
 


by Lisa Johnson

When your first screenplay and starring role are smash indy hits, what do you do for an encore? That s a question Nikki Reed, co-author and star of the startling film 13, had to ask herself at the tender young age of 14.

Her amazing talent and insight were undeniable, as was her unassuming naivete, when she first sat down with writer/director Catherine Hardwicke to write a semi-autobiographical screenplay from her journal entries. Nikki met Catherine when she was about five, when Catherine was dating Nikki s father. Nikki poured her heart and soul into her work, then naively started her first year of high school, completely unaware of the firestorm that was about to rain down upon her.

I had no idea how much my life would change when that film was released, Nikki recalls. I didn t know it would be so controversial, and I didn t realize it would put me in a position as a spokesperson for all teenage girls. Adults would come to campus to speak with her during lunch. Could this be happening to my daughter? they asked. Classmates would carry teen magazines with pictures of her: Top Ten Teens right up there next to Mandy Moore. Nikki s brother, a year ahead of her in school, was constantly harangued about a fictitious line uttered by the older brother in the film. And that was just at school. What her parents endured because of the film is another story.

My mother really is a hair stylist, and had her issues with alcohol, Nikki said. Photographers would come to their house and try to catch her in her pajamas. At work, my father would be asked, So are you finally there for your daughter?

Nikki was stunned by what her work had wrought. At 14, she moved out of her house into her own apartment, began home schooling, and even bought a 1983 Acura Integra from a neighbor for $500 I was too young to drive, but I had to get around, she admits. But it wasn t really that bad. I like being on my own.

Today, at age 18, Nikki is still living alone. She just ended a two-year relationship, and doesn t mind her independence one bit. I ve been able to do a lot of writing lately, she says. I d forgotten what it was like to have so much time for that.

Nikki s writing since she penned 13 has been bittersweet. I ve completed three screenplays, and I m working on another. We re work on financing for one right now. None of her other screenplays have been developed yet. I ve found that unless I write a sequel to 13, there aren t that many people who will stand behind me. Nikki has had many offers for a sequel, but she s not succumbing to the pressure.

I will absolutely never write anything autobiographical again, she declares. If I were going to write a sequel I would have done it already. It tore up my family. I exposed a lot of personal information, and I didn t understand the effect it would have.

Nikki has had a great deal of success with her acting career since starring in 13. The precocious beauty of Jewish, Italian and Cherokee decent has starred in the Forest Whitaker produced American Gun with Donald Sutherland, Marcia Gay Harden and Linda Cardellini, as well as Cherry Crush, with Frank Whaley and Jonathan Tucker. She also starred opposite Peter Weller in Jefrey Levy s Man of God, But that was never released it was too personal for the director. I still hope to see it one day, she says. In addition, she has the title role in the Kevin Spacey produced Mini s First Time, which has a cast that includes Alec Baldwin, Luke Wilson, Carrie-Ann Moss, and Jeff Goldbloom.

Nikki s one big studio film so far was Lord s of Dog Town, Catherine Hardwicke s feature film based on the skate boarding documentary Dogtown and Z- Boys. The big budget and executive influence were eye openers for Nikki, and helped her appreciate the artistic freedom allowed in independent fare.

Her career has also branched out to television, where she has appeared in several episodes of Fox s The O.C.

Although Nikki has been working in the entertainment industry consistently since she was 13, success has not gone to her head. She did get rid of the Acura and now drives a Toyota Rav 4. She purchased similar cars for her brother and her mother. I wanted to get a Prius, she said, but there was a nine- month wait, and I just couldn t see using connections to jump to the front of the line.

In Nikki s future, there s a relatively big budget independent coming up. She s not at liberty to elaborate on it, but she says it s based on a popular novel, and the author is directing. But before that, she s heading to a film festival in Moscow where she ll receive an award for Mini s First Time.

The sky s the limit for Nikki s long term plans. She ll continue writing, acting, and one day would like to return to school. My brother is studying art in Florence, she says. Who knows? Maybe I ll go over there to visit him and decide to stay.


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 IFA Launches New Indie Film Division
 



IFA Staff Writer September 2006

The IFA has just announced that it will begin producing and distributing its own films. The production company will be helmed by Andrew Van Slee and the initial slate of three films are set to begin production mid October of this year. The three film slate includes two comedies and 1 family adventure film. The comedies are Creepy Movie , a spoof of the Scary Movie franchise and Napoleon: Conquer the World in Seven Days , which is a college Animal House type film, that gives a whole new meaning to the words Going Greek . The 3rd film will be a MOW/Pilot called SPY TEENS about two singer songwriters who work for the CIA. Creepy is set to shoot in Los Angeles, the other two films may be produced in Vancouver. The USA is becoming way more competitive and is offering any film investors a 100% write off if certain criteria is met, the main criteria is that the films are produced in the USA. Van Slee has produced three films over the last few years including the critically acclaimed Totally Blonde which launched singing sensation Michael Buble into super stardom. The powerhouse media company plans on using some of its sponsors to supply products and or services to the films. Since its inception is back in February, the IFA has seen a huge surge in web traffic and is poised to hit over the 1 million mark this month. IFA plans to introduce an online film festival starting in October that should increase traffic ten fold over the net six months. The goal of the IFA is quite simple, we plan on being one of the largest entertainment portals on the web. So look out Entertainment Tonight, we are on your doorstep said Van Slee from his modest offices located at Lions gate Studios in North Vancouver. Any IFA member who is interested in getting involved in the production of the films should get his/her resume in right away and send it to info@ifilmalliance.com. This would include crew as well as talent.


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