Sep 222011

This year at the annual Telluride Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival and The Library of America present a special program in honor of artist and film critic Manny Farber. “The Celebration of Manny Farber” will include an intimate bookstore signing of The Library of America’s September 2009 release Farber on Film: The Complete Film Writings of Manny Farber with editor Robert Polito. Since 1975 the Deauville American Film Festival has been showcasing American cinematographic diversity, hosting Hollywood royalty, as well as discovering new talents, actors, directors. This year more than 100 films will be presented to the public on three sites through September 13 in Deauville, France. International animation show, Fantoche 09, in Baden from September 8-13, offers a film programme in several parts of the use of human beings in animated film, and over several editions of the festival, Fantoche explores the interface between animation film and game design. The Temecula Valley International Film & Music Festival social calendar runs September 9-13 starting with Opening Night Festivities, followed by daily & nightly filmmaker/musician receptions, industry workshops, a Lifetime and Career Achievement Awards Black Tie Gala, a Sunday morning Hot Air Balloon Ride, a Closing Night Wrap party and Best of Fest special screening presentations. A Disney fan experience in which guests will enjoy exhibits, screenings, presentations and interactive experiences from every part of The Walt Disney Company happens in Anaheim, September 10-13. Talent from Walt Disney Pictures films, ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN and more will be on hand for meet-and-greets, and Disney Couture will debut its new line at a fashion show.

This year’s Chicago Underground Film Festival, September 10-17, follows past festival blueprint in which selected films often ignore limitations of genre, and which alternative music films, political agitprop, formal experimentation, and high camp are not uncommon elements of the Festival program. During the Toronto International Film Festival 2009, September 10-17, everyone is invited to Yonge-Dundas Square (YDS) for a playful and dynamic line-up of free screenings, concerts, performances, guest appearances, and special events. The TriMedia Film Festival has an innovative “tri-media” focus, with independent film, TV pilots/specials, and live theatre, rated a PG-13 or equivalent rating limit, and screenings and exhibit entries from all over the world. Festivities running September 11-13 in Fort Collins, open with a Double Feature and VIP Celebrity Party. At the West Coast Documentary and Reality Conference in Santa Monica, there are two areas of professional interest that are designated: The Documentary Village and The Reality Village. The third day of the conference, which runs September 14-16, will be entirely devoted to PitchFest, a live presentation for Documentary and Reality producers to pitch new concepts to network and development executives for potential acquisition. At a Film Finance Forum East, set to run September 16-17 in New York, speaking faculty discuss how to minimize risk when financing films; provide the latest updates on tax incentives and tax credits; address financing strategies and structures; and address effective distribution trends and brand integration resources to lower costs and increase revenue streams.

The Florida Media Market, September 16-20 in Orlando, is an annual market for film, documentary, television and media deal-making whose goal is to educate and build a platform where independent film and media makers meet with international buyers, distributors and production companies to buy, sell and network. Rosanne Cash will be the subject of the Americana Music Association’s Festival & Conference 2009 Keynote Interview, conducted by author/journalist Michael Streissguth, when the Convention gathers in Nashville, September 16-19. The First Annual Martha’s Vineyard Songwriters Festival, running September 18-19, will combine pop and country BMI hit makers in exclusive live music lineups and intimate settings, adopting the same approach of the Key West Songwriters Festival. Formerly known as IFP Market, Independent Film Week is an ongoing showcase in New York for the discovery of new projects in development and new voices on the independent film scene. From September 19-24, among conference highlights, are select scenes from IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs uncovering next year’s film festival circuit from IFP’s Documentary & Narrative Rough Cut Labs. The New York Television Festival is held annually each fall (September 21-26) in New York City, and along with the Independent Pilot Competition, the Festival features panel discussions, premiere screenings, and other special events designed to honor television as an institution and art form. The International Bluegrass Music Association presents its annual business conference for the bluegrass music industry with artist showcases, an exhibit hall with more than 100 booths, professional development seminars, member constituency meetings, and more, all happening September 28 through October 4 in Nashville. The Business of Entertainment is a two-part workshop on September 30 in Minneapolis that addresses: “Best Practices in Production Payroll Management,” outlining best practices in production payroll management; and “Before The Camera Rolls”, an interactive primer on production scheduling and budgeting.

The above events are only a sample of what is fully listed. Complete details are on the “Media, Entertainment and Performing Arts Industry News and Events” page. Video and podcast versions of this news summary are also available at popular video sites around the Web like MySpace, YouTube, Daily Motion, as well as on The Actor’s Checklist podcast blog. Follow the posting of the news summary on Twitter at: twitter.com/actorschecklist. This month on the video news summary you will again see a dynamic array of artists in performance of film and music. These videos are now available on the Free Home Video Showcase which now serves as an archive for all past video presentations but without the audio news narration. The Actor’s Checklist is proud announce the return of the photo gallery which you can visit to upload valuable head shots or other photos of your choice, create profiles, and use your pictures or others found on the gallery as ecards which you can email to friends and associates with messages.

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Aug 172011
short film
by Canadian Film Centre

The 2010 International Experimental Media Congress, the first Congress of its kind since the 1989 Toronto Experimental Film Congress, will assemble film, video, new media artists, theorists, archivists, and curators from around the world, who will be in Toronto through April 11 for panels and discussions related to experimental media production, exhibition, dissemination, criticism, pedagogy and reception. The International Film Festival Summit (IFFS) is an annual conference and trade show for professionals from the film festival industry who will be in Amsterdam through April 9 to participate in presentations, interactive panel discussions and networking events, and to look forward to the Dinner With Strangers event that allows attendees a unique and fun opportunity to meet and dine with festival colleagues from all over the world. The 2010 French Quarter Festival, opening April 9-11, highlights New Orleans’ signature music, food, and culture in the historic neighborhood, mostly by a musical smorgasbord of jazz, r&b, funk, folk, opera, gospel, blues, and brass bands, but also with over 105 food and beverage booths located in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, and the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, forming the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch” with local cuisines from the area’s finest restaurants including such festival favorites as Jambalaya, Crawfish Bread, Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice, Muffaletta, Crawfish, and more.

The annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference and expo for professionals who create filmed entertainment, and the development, management and delivery of content across all mediums and platforms, happens this year from April 10-15 in Las Vegas. Comic strip icon, Stan Lee (co-creator of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, Silver Surfer), will be at this year’s event, and the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF) in partnership with the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) and Radio-Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) will host its annual spring Career Fair at the NAB Show. Nailing Jello Productions conducts a short film screening, fundraiser and panel discussion on how independent filmmakers are using social and emerging media to fundraise, market and distribute their films at an event conducted in New York City on April 14. Tours and activities in Wine Country sets the theme for the Sonoma International Film Festival as activities interwoven into the festival’s daily screenings, happening April 14-18. Leading off the Sonoma Festival will be the world premiere of the documentary, “Coals to Newcastle”, about one of Britain’s cutting-edge funk bands, the New Mastersounds, who will be in town for the festival and perform live after the screening.

The Beverly Hills Film Festival, a competition festival dedicated to showcasing non-studio films and screenplays of emerging filmmakers in the city generally recognized as the headquarters for VIPs to the motion picture industry, is now in its tenth year, opening for a run from April 14-18, while treating festival goers to nightly theme parties, seminars, and a charity benefit. Nashville Film Festival, an Academy qualifier for short films, opens April 15 this year, through April 22, and because it takes place in “Music City” it is only natural that part of the focus be on music in films. So in addition to the many films about music and the Music Films in Music City awards, NaFF presents showcases, workshops, and other events where songwriters and artists come together with film professionals from Hollywood and around the world to promote collaboration. The 45th Academy of Country Music Awards will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas on CBS television network Sunday, April 18 at 8 pm (EST), hosted by Reba McEntire. For those fortunate to attend the Awards live in Las Vegas, the ACM All-Star Jam follows the award ceremony featuring impromptu performances from artists who participated in the Awards show. Mediabistro hosts an April 20 L.A. Cocktail Party for professionals in the media industry.  Conversation will be geared toward the latest media industry developments as party hosts, Write On! Online freelance writer, Debra Eckerling, and Kaiser Permanente senior web editor, Michelle Thatcher, help you enjoy yourself and make some great connections.

The mission of the Rincón International Film Festival is to support and promote culture and the arts in Puerto Rico through the medium of film. Rincón, Puerto Rico is also a Surfer’s paradise, so the festival is also looking to screen great surfing films, particularly at the beachfront resorts that will be used as screening venues during the festival run, April 20-25. The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films, honoring entertainment industry performers and business executives, and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora. Awards will be presented on April 22 (the festival itself runs April 20-25) at the IFFLA Industry Leadership Award Luncheon held at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. The show will include performances by TAAL Dance Collective. Championing the short film format, Filmfest Dresden promotes a film category which is mostly disregarded by cinemas and television. This year, Filmfest Dresden is supplementing its film programmes with an extensive range of special events discussions, receptions and get-togethers such as on April 22 when the Saxony Film Association, the German Short Film Association, Filmfest Dresden, the School-goers Cinema Dresden, the Dresden Narrow Gauge Festival and other institutes are holding a reception where people will have an opportunity to get together for mutual exchanges.

As it usually does, the Tribeca Film Festival in New York will host many free events during its run from April 21 to May 5, for film fans and families, including: Tribeca Drive-In, an outdoor screening series that takes place at the World Financial Center Plaza, where you can watch professional salsa dancers, listen to live salsa music, enter dancing contests, and even take salsa lessons, following the screening of the HBO documentary The Spirit of Salsa. Then there will be the Tribeca Talks: Industry panels touching on all aspects of the filmmaking trade, and The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day. Opening on April 22 until April 26, Palm Beach International Film Festival, started in 1996 to give the area a foothold in the film industry as well as to benefit the area’s community schools through grant and scholarship awards, will emphasize its newly formed Friends of the PBIFF, which offers an array of fun-filled events to raise funds and awareness on a year-round basis for the PBIFF. Founded in 1957, the San Francisco International Film Festival, running April 22 to May 6, is thought to be one of the longest-running film festival in the Americas. This year, SFIFF has an line-up of narrative feature films, live action and animated shorts, television and theatrical documentaries, experimental work, digital media, and industry panels, seminars, awards events, onstage tributes, retrospectives, and the well regarded Schools at the Festival program, which brings an estimated 4,200 grade school students into the festival.

ShowBiz Expo Los Angeles is the west coast counterpart to the show held in New York City in March — but runs for two days, April 24-25. Like New York the Los Angeles Expo includes a wide range of networking opportunities including the Exhibit Hall, Workshops/Seminars, Round Table Discussions, Headshot Displays, etc., and most importantly, live audition opportunities for which there is limited enrollment on a first come basis. MUSEEXPO 2010 will be in Los Angeles from April 25-28, and will incorporate the intimate format that marked its beginnings as organic networking dinners organized by A&R Network and A&R Worldwide architect Sat Bisla, aimed at bringing together friends and like-minded relationships from the global radio, A&R, film/TV music supervision, publishing, new media and artist management communities. In London on April 27, noted film director and FOCAL International’s Chair of Patrons, Lord David Putnam, opens the FOCAL International Awards festivities with a champagne reception sponsored by AP Archive, followed by a three-course dinner. FOCAL was formed in 1985 as an international, non-profit professional trade association representing commercial film/audiovisual, stills and sound libraries. The black tie and evening cocktail attire affair ends late with an after party also sponsored by AP Archive.

The above events are only a sample of what is fully listed. Complete details are on the “Media, Entertainment and Performing Arts Industry News and Events” page. Video and podcast versions of this news summary are also available at popular video sites around the Web like MySpace, YouTube, Daily Motion, as well as on The Actor’s Checklist podcast blog. Follow the posting of the news summary on Twitter. Last month on the video news summary you saw new video from newly released single on iTunes – Make Your Move – from UK’s soulful, R&B songstress, Bukola. Music producing Padded Cell Productions of Toronto with a newly released art film, Jane Doe. And there was the “spiritual fusion of acoustic sitar experimental chanting spoken word improvisation”  of Scot Aaron and Govinda Schlegel who form Shaman Strings. These videos are now available on the Free Home Video Showcase which now serves as an archive for all past video presentations but without the audio news narration.

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Jul 212011
short film
by George M. Groutas

There was a time when you had to lug around bulky, costly equipment if you wanted to make a movie for school or another reason. It cost a lot of money to shoot and edit the footage, turning it into your vision. In today’s digital era, you can create a film using a cheap digital video camera and some computer software and broadcast your vision to the world. For very little money, you can also use royalty free music to add a soundtrack because, after all, you can’t have video without audio.

While there’s a world of possibilities at your fingertips, there’s also a world of risk. You have to know how to use them legally, especially music. For example, you can’t use just any piece of music for a school project. Copyrighted music, like the Beatles’ song “Revolution,” can be used in a lesson about the politics of the 1960s. It cannot be used in a video you make about your high school class’s volunteer day, unless you pay for it. For those who don’t want to pay, you can always use royalty free music.

Using royalty free music is not your only option. Another solution is to ask permission from the copyright holders to use that particular music in the film you’re making. Your movie doesn’t have to be for educational purposes, although you’d have better luck getting permission if you were making it for educational purposes.

Your best bet, though, is to use royalty free music so that you don’t have to go through the convoluted process of seeking permission to use your favorite song in the film you’re making. And you won’t have to pay through the nose to transform your vision into a digital masterpiece.

Don’t brush off the idea of royalty free music. You can find great music that sounds just like the ones you’d have to pay lots of money to use. High end companies boast extensive sound and music libraries to fit whatever mood you’re trying to set in your film. These unique musical pieces can make your film a memorable one, whether you’re simply making a short film for YouTube or a blockbuster movie.

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Jun 142011



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Hip-Hop Music Video is Taking Top Honors — Carrying a Human Rights Message Worldwide










Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) December 6, 2005

The UNITED music video, which screened in September at Hollywood’s Arclight Theater Los Angeles International Short Film Festival to thunderous applause, has now taken the Slate Award for best music video at the 2005 California Independent Film Festival. Classed as a short film, UNITED has already copped top awards in more than a dozen film festivals, including the Gandhi Cultural 3rd International Film Festival in Spain, the Giglio D’Oro Film Festival in Italy and the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.

At its debut during an international youth summit held at the United Nations headquarters, the New York Office High Commissioner for Human Rights called UNITED “a huge step forward for human rights education.” Add subtitling in 15 languages accomplished with support from the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology, it has been able to spread its message to discos in Spain, soccer stadiums in Italy, even electronics stores in Hungary and Russia. In addition to honors, kudos have poured in from many notables, including the Prince of Monaco, the Governor of California and the Mayor of Los Angeles. Add to that a long list of police, community and youth groups in dozens of countries seeking to spread its peaceful answers and UNITED is transformed into a virtual human rights movement powered by a hip-hop rhythm that appears to be reaching everyone.

Out of thousands of short films vying for honors, UNITED has proven it has what it takes to stand out. “This production required a 45,000-mile world tour covering four continents and 13 countries. It engaged two thousand volunteers and 150 actors who contributed their time to a global endeavor,” says Leslie Brown, UNITED’s producer. “With a director and crew that consisted mostly of teenagers and pre-teens, it was truly a youth project,” Brown added. Director Taron Lexton, founder of TXL Films, was 19 years old when he shot UNITED in 2004.

Though global in scope, the story depicts an inner-city kid with a heart for basketball (played by 11-year-old Andre Boydon). He is confronted by a gang of bullies and their leader (Eric Forte), and must fight for his right to play. “What makes UNITED a great human rights video is how Boydon’s character accomplishes this without violence and how he involves the whole world to win,” says Brown.

The UNITED music video was commissioned by Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) to accompany a new theme song designed to teach human rights to youth. In a recent interview, the President of YHRI, Mary Shuttleworth, said, “Human rights is something I feel very passionate about. As humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard stated, ‘Human rights must be made a fact, not and idealistic dream.’” The film features cameo performances by lsaac Hayes, Erika Christensen, Jenna Elfman, Catherine Bell, and Linsey Bartilson. For more information about UNITED log on to http://www.unitedmusicvideo.org.

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May 072011
short film
by Max Sparber

BMI will sponsor the Amplify Music Conference and Festival taking place in Downtown Las Vegas, through August 8. The agenda includes daily conferences, workshops, nightly showcases and more. HBO will be present at the Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival, August 6-9 in Vineyard Haven, hosting the HBO Short Film Competition on August 9 at Katherine Cornell Theatre. Process is an international Hip Hop Theatre workshop festival, August 7-9 in Manchester, delivered by Breaking Cycles as a tool to preserve the language of Hip Hop Theatre within the British culture and as a provision to nurture and develop the talents of emerging young artists.The film festival will exhibit films inspired by and representative of global Hip Hop culture.

Indie Fest USA Expo and International Film Festival, August 8-15 in Anaheim, combines eight days of independent films, live music artists, celebrities, the opening night welcome party and closing night awards show. Village 8 Theatres in Louisville hosts the August 15 premiere of ‘Last Breath’, a horror and gore genre flick about a canabalistic killer on the loose, preying on young women, and the close-knit band of police detectives on his trail. Tejano Music Convention, August 15-17 in Dallas, seeks to increase and enhance the Tejano or Tex-Mex music genre, and to showcase new artists and assist in the development of the next generation of Tejano artists and fans. An example of one featured event used to reach these goals is the Tejano Mega Dance which will happen at the Dallas Convention Center. Flashforward2008 San Francisco, August 20-22, includes the international Flashforward Film Festival and Awards ceremony and a Flash-related industry Expo Hall and community center with opportunities for the entire Flash community to network and share knowledge. The Flashforward Conference party happens at Ruby Skye.

London Frightfest is held each August Bank holiday weekend. Over 75% of the films shown have been UK, European or world premieres of the latest must see fantasy, sci-fi and horror films. NVISION will gather visual computing professionals, world-class gamers, innovative artists and designers, and cutting-edge researchers to share their ideas, experiences, and passions, August 25-27 in San Jose. It will also be held in conjunction with the Fifth Annual iGames Expo. Telluride Film Festival sticking to its annual custom opens during the Labor Day weekend, August 29 to September 2, in the mountain village of Telluride. Los Angeles Film Acting Coach, Molli Benson, will be holding a free two day Film Actors Workshop, August 30-31 in Albuquerque. For more details contact mollibenson@aol.com.

The above events are only a sample of what is fully listed. Complete details are on the “Media, Entertainment and Performing Arts Industry News and Events” page. Video and podcast versions of this news summary are also available at popular video sites around the Web like MySpace, YouTube, Bit Torrent, as well as on The Actor’s Checklist podcast blog, a great place to get your iPhone, ipod or Apple TV download from. The Free Home Video Showcase serves as an archive for all past video presentations. This month on video you will see trailers and sample clips of ‘Last Breath’ from C&T Productions (www.myspace.com/tracyandchase), a murder mystery about a cannibalistic serial killer called the “Southside Slasher” has an August 15 premiere at Village 8 Theatres, 4014 Dutchmans Lane, Louisville, Kentucky. A Spoilt Video Production release of a Mirko Virgili film, ‘Ganja Fiction’ an Italian short film, in the pulp style genre, starring Claudio Caminito Attore, in which the lives of the characters intertwine behind a single common denominator — marijuana. Modern electronica experimentalism band Phoenix Block. Comedy portrayals of Kim Waldauer, and Robert Christophe, from their Cube News 1 series, and Adventures of Cubegirl, that follows Kim, a cubicle worker by day and superhero when needed, rescuing employees from corporate abuse.

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Feb 262011

Houston & Los Angeles (PRWEB) May 27, 2008

Gatecrasher Films is pleased to announce that the feature film “Mutants” will be screened at this year’s Marché du Film at the Cannes Film Festival. In addition, it will be submitting its short film “First Date” to the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival. Gatecrasher Films and AV1 Productions also recently completed filming a music video for hip-hop superstar Lupe Fiasco.

The feature film “Mutants” will be screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film, currently taking place in Cannes, France. The horror/science-fiction film stars Michael Ironside (“Top Gun”, “Starship Troopers”) and Steven Bauer (“Scarface”); directed by Amir Valinia of Gatecrasher Films / AV1 Productions, produced by George Kostuch and Matt Keith of K2 Pictures and co-produced by Ron Finberg of Gatecrasher Films. The film is being distributed by Spotlight Pictures. Amir also recently directed the films “Lords of the Street”, starring Kris Kristofferson, and “Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent”, starring hip-hop superstar DMX.

The Marché du Film is the key business counterpart and heart of the Festival de Cannes, and it is the most important motion picture gathering in the world where, every year, cinema and dealmaking are at their best. More than 8,000 participants from 93 countries from the film industry, including producers, international sales agents, distributors and investors, are expected to converge in Cannes for the Marché du Film making deals for tomorrow’s films.

On a separate note, Gatecrasher Films will be submitting its short film comedy production “First Date” to the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival. The plot is about a couple on a blind date and what happens when they become too honest with each other. The film was directed by Amir Valinia and produced by Ron Finberg and Ming Wang. Accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences the LA Shorts Fest is the largest, most recognized short film festival in the world.

Lastly, Gatecrasher Films / AV1 Productions recently completed production on the music video “Hip-Hop Saved My Life” for rap and hip hop superstar Lupe Fiasco. Directed by Dr. Teeth, the video also features singer/songwriter Nikki Jean.

Gatecrasher Films is full-service motion picture production company, specializing in films, music videos and commercials, using cost-effective strategies and efficient processes and techniques resulting in beautiful motion pictures at ultra-competitive rates.

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