Tuesday, November 3, 2009


After a year plus toiling in the dark of the cyberworld with narry an up-to-date website to our name, Court 13 has finally revamped itself for the digital era. We present:


Through the website you can join the Court 13 Army--host or demand screenings of our stuff in your area, spread the word about Court 13, and let us know what you think of what we make. Other new features include a featured movie and music video, streaming and downloadable versions of all our films and music videos (for free!), a steady stream of photos, a section about the Court 13 School for Young People (including the kids' videos), and of course the episodic and legendary story of Court 13, finally committed to text. All praise the mighty Josh Penn for the system overhaul. Browse away!

NOTE TO ALL READING THROUGH BLOGSPOT: This marks the sad end of Court 13's blogspot activity. All new blog posts will appear in the new site, on the homepage, and also with more space to breathe at www.court13.com/news. Please bookmark accordingly.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Glory at Sea" Plays Middle East Film Festival in Abu Dhabi!

Just when one might think "GLORY AT SEA" had exhausted its world tour, the kind folks at the Middle East International Film Festival accepted us into their blinged out arms. Court 13's Benh Zeitlin and Viktor Jakovleski were cordially invited to decadent Abu Dhabi for the festivities, where Benh claims it rains inside a mall, and the hotel toilet flushers are solid gold. Recession be damned.

A world-class festival, headquartered at the lavish Emirates Palace Hotel, the MEIFF gave Benh and Viktor a chance to see top notch short films in the finest of theaters, dine and comiserate with film friends new and old (ie long lost Court comrade Kellanas Quinn and veteran Boogie Club founder Jamie Dutcher), and generally pretend like they were heirs to an imaginary fortune.

Then Benh came home to New Orleans, where he lives with a pig, drinks Miller High Life, and uses a rusty old bike to get around.

Monday, September 28, 2009

VIDEO: Benh and Lucy at the Sundance Directors Lab

Right, so you follow the blog, and you know "Sundance" is a good thing, but you read about us getting into the Directors/Writers/Producers Lab, and think - What the hell is that? Who's there? What do you do all day? Does it involve beakers?

Thanks to YouTube, the Sundance Institute has demystified much of the process with a few short videos. In this one, Benh and Lucy hash out the challenges the "BEASTS" script presents, with actors like Eddie Rouse, and advisors like Christopher McQuarrie (screenwriter, "The Usual Suspects"). Enjoy!*

*New Yorkers will be pleased to see that Benh reps Katz's hard in this video.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"BEASTS" Receives Rooftop Films Filmmakers Fund Grant!

A great day in Court 13 land! It has come to our attention that the Court's new project "BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD" has been blessed with the generosity of Rooftop Films and bestowed their Filmmakers Fund Eastern Effects Equipment Grant!

What does this mean? It means that during production we will be given use of one whole grip truck's worth of equipment (courtesy of Eastern Effects) for free-- a load off our back, for sure.

Rooftop Films is a longtime friend of Court 13, with this only being the latest case of their benevolence. Rooftop saw "GLORY AT SEA" through hard times, awarding us a life-saving grant when money was short, and they've been kind enough to screen many a Court 13 film on many a New York rooftop--including "EGG," "I GET WET," and "GLORY AT SEA." Check out what they're up to at www.rooftopfilms.com.

If you live in New York, you have no excuse not to go see a compelling, hard-to-see movie on a starlit rooftop in Brooklyn. Plus, it's officially Fall now! Outdoor movie weather!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September Court 13 E-mail Update

Here is an email we sent out to all Court 13 supporters. If you're a regular reader of our blog, most of this will not be news to you.

If you'd like to join our e-mail army, please click

Hello Court 13 Faithful!

Well it should be no surprise that more than four months have passed since our last "monthly" Court 13 update (The good news is we didn't clog up your inbox though, right?). But don't confuse our lack of communication with inertia, because its source is in fact the opposite: we've actually been busy as bees down here in New Orleans... and so our silence is even less excusable. Let's just get right to the bullet points:

* Benjamin Harold Zeitlin attended the Sundance Directors/Screenwriters Lab in June, in service of the new project, "BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD." The Directors Lab allowed Benh to work out directing challenges his and Lucy's script presents, and workshop certain scenes with talented actors. Benh was grateful to work with Ms. Paula Jai Parker (whom you might recognize from her turn as Craig's girlfriend in the film "Friday"), and Mr. Eddie Rouse (star of Court friend Zack Godshall's film "Low and Behold," and frequent player in the movies of David Gordon Green). Following the Director’s Lab, he and "Beasts" co-writer Lucy Alibar took part in a 2nd Screenwriters Lab to continue workshopping the script.

* In July, Court 13's Josh Penn and Dan Janvey were 2 of 6 fellows selected for the 2009 Sundance Creative Producers Initiative. The initiative was created to support a new generation of emerging indie producers. While in Utah, they took part in the Producer’s Lab, which is designed to develop a producer's creative instincts and to evolve their communication and problem-solving skills. At the labs their mentors included Paul Mezey ("Maria Full of Grace," "Half Nelson"), Jay Van Hoy ("Old Joy," "Treeless Mountain"), Lynette Howell ("Half Nelson," "Phoebe in Wonderland"), and Mary Jane Skalski ("The Visitor," "The Station Agent"). As fellows they also attended the Creative Producing Summit and received grants for further development and pre-production. The fellowship will continue throughout the year as they will receive ongoing creative and strategic support from industry mentors and the Sundance staff, and will attend the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

* Spike Jonze tapped Court 13’s Ray Tintori to write/direct an adaptation of Shane Jones debut novel “Light Boxes," which Jonze will produce. The book tells the story of a war waged by a group of balloonists against the seemingly endless month of February. As a side note, Court 13 is officially very excited to see Jonze’s new movie, “Where the Wild Things Are”.

* Work continued full steam ahead on "BEASTS": Benh and Lucy got their creative distributaries flowing by spending a writer's retreat on top of a bait shop, in the very bayous where the film takes place and where we aim to shoot. The final script is in its last stages. Meanwhile we continue to scour every Parish, community center, and school system in the great state of Louisiana, looking for that one girl, one special girl, who can fill the very large (but actually very small) shoes of the main part in the film (If you know any half-black Cajun 8 year-olds who can gut a fish and operate a fanboat, please contact michael@court13.com IMMEDIATELY).

* It was unusually hot in May.

* The Court 13 Acting/Moviemaking Program for Young People, or whatever we're calling it today, concluded with the Premiere of each of the three classes' short films at Colton School. Parents applauded, children blushed, fun was had by all. We have been proudly rolling these movies out on the blog the last couple of weeks; the final one was posted a couple days ago--check it out by clicking here. The kids look forward to appearing in the upcoming feature film.

* Ray Tintori's long-awaited music video for MGMT's "Kids" (filmed at Colton and in New Orleans) was released, and a small blogstorm ensued. Click here to see what all the fuss was about.

* Religious war broke out in the comments section of the "Glory at Sea" YouTube page (page 2 is where the fun is). Everyone is being very amiable and tolerant, as is standard practice for YouTube discourse.

* Court 13 Omnimedia's music video for "Evident Utensil," by Chairlift, was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award, for Best Breakthrough Video. Ray directed, Bob Weisz produced and datamoshed. We expect EVERYONE to tune in to the prestigious ceremony this Sunday, to support your favorite Omnimedia organization.

That's it for right now! Development on the film charges ahead, army and weapons will be assembled in winter, and the big sha-bang will go down in early spring. Stay tuned! You can keep slightly less sporadic tabs on us by visiting our blog at court13news.blogspot.com, and you can catch even more news and silly status updates by facebooking us here.

Thanks for your time, and may you have a good harvest season.


The Court

Friday, September 4, 2009

MOVIE: "The Big Hide-and-Go-Seek" - by the Thursday class

Our final presentation from the kids of the Court 13 Acting/Moviemaking After School Program... "The Big Hide-and-Go-Seek" is a whodunit set in the halls of Colton, where a legendary Hide-and-Go-Seek game went down, recalled "Rashomon"-style by its participants on a daytime talk show.

Starring Alexis, Kenneth, Larielle, Margot, Saida, Tione, and Wynton.

Friday, August 28, 2009

MOVIE: "Detention = Doom" - by the Wednesday class

As promised, here's the next kids' film- this one from the Wednesday class. It's a horror/psychological thriller/movie about a talking grasshopper. Sort of.

Starring Antonio, Bryonna, Eddie, Nicholas, Ryan, and Terielle.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

MOVIE: "Scaredy Cat Superheroes" - a film by the Tuesday class

As mentioned in prior posts, Court 13 runs what could best be termed an after school program for the handful of talented, creative, and hilarious kids who we have chosen to appear in our next big feature film... the name of which you already know, if you read this blog at all, so I will refer to it with a title that one might use to tout its concept in one of those anxious Hollywood pitch sessions--"FIDDLER ON THE LEVEE."

Before they appear in "FIDDLER ON THE LEVEE," we wanted to give these micro-performers some experience acting and making a movie. So each of the three classes came up with their own story ideas for a short film, and, as a kind of final project, we shot them, edited them, and premiered them. We think they're pretty good!

We'll be rolling all three out over the next couple weeks, but for right now, here's the Tuesday class movie, "SCAREDY CAT SUPERHEROES." Starring Amari, Jonshel, Lauren, Nathan, Nyla, Theodore, and Mr. Chris. We tried to drop it on YouTube, but music industry tyrants jacked our audio before you could say "fair use." You can protest the handicapped version here.

Look for the Wednesday movie, described as "Polanski-esque," and the Thursday movie, a murder mystery without any murder (we swear, parents), coming soon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Evident Utensil nominated for Best Breakthrough Video at the MTV VMAs

Court 13 Omnimedia’s music video for Chairlift’s "Evident Utensil" has been nominated for “Best Breakthrough Video” for this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. The video was directed by Ray Tintori and produced and special effected by Bob Weisz.

Please watch and vote for the video at

Friday, July 24, 2009

Court Beasts Sundance / Sundance Courts "Beasts"

As I type these very words, two of the producers of the upcoming "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Dan Janvey and Josh Penn, are on a mountain in the land of the Utes, gleaning knowledge from the independent film world's best and brightest.

Yes, that's right, we've batted for the cycle: after the invaluable chance to attend both the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and the Directors Lab, Court 13 was also accepted into the Sundance Producers Lab! The press release from Sundance has more info:

The Feature Film Creative Producing Lab, a five-day Lab for narrative feature film producers takes place at the Sundance Resort in Utah from July 20-24, 2009, just prior to the [Creative Producing] Summit. The Lab is designed to develop a producer's creative instincts in all stages of film production and to evolve his/her communication and problem-solving skills. The fellows will also attend the Creative Producing Summit, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, receive ongoing creative and strategic support throughout the year from industry mentors and the Feature Film Program staff, and also grants for further development and pre-production.

Needless to say, we are very very appreciative and humbled by this opportunity--Benh came back from the Directors Lab gushing with praise for what Sundance has set up on that there mountain. We fully intend to jam all over it.