ORCAS ISLAND Film Festival kicks off Oct 7-10!

PRESS – For immediate Release

The 3rd Annual ORCAS ISLAND FILM FESTIVAL kicks off this weekend in WA State’s San Juan Islands!  This 4 day spectacle will feature some of the most impressive Indie films on the circuit including a lineup of over 30 stellar and intriguing films from regional and international filmmakers.  OIFF is sponsored by Orcas Open Arts and the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF).  SIFF is recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America.

The OIFF features a selection of critically acclaimed films and audience favorites direct from their debut at the world’s greatest film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Telluride, Toronto, New York and Seattle.  Many of these films are bound to be award contenders at the Oscars as they show up in cinemas this fall and over the Thanksgiving and Christmas movie-going season. The Orcas Island film festival provides an intimate and arts-rich setting in which these films can be seen  before their official theatrical release.

Located in the tiny village of Eastsound on Orcas Island,  the festival can be reached only by sea, air or boat.  Taking the Antecortes ferry (1.5 hours North of Seattle) directly to the island is the best this time of year.  The ferry ride in the Fall is well worth the trip with all the vibrant Autumn colors seen along the way.

OIFF each year donates three (3) $3500 grants to filmmakers as part of a unique filmmaker event to shoot a short film in San Juan county in the Spring/Summer before their Fall festival.  Grant winners films will be juried by the audience and the winner will have the honor of having their film screened in the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival in May.

Opening night gala begins Friday at the ORCAS CENTER @5:30pm.


Director Jean-Marc Vallee

This years festival will again feature a STAR studded line-up of Award Winning Producers, Directors, Writers and Actors from highly acclaimed films.  Canadian Director Jean-Marc Vallet will be in attendance for a Q&A following some of his recent work.  His most notable films include DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (Starring Award Winning Actors Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey) and also Directed WILD (Starring Award Winning Actress Reese Witherspoon).


Matthew McConaughey (left) and Jared Leto (right)

Reese Witherspoon (left) and director Jean-Marc Vallee (right) filming on location for WILD.

Reese Witherspoon (left) and director Jean-Marc Vallee (right) filming on location for WILD.

Here’s the FULL SCHEDULE AND TICKETS for this years festival!


Orcas Open Arts has supported arts education on Orcas Island for over a decade and is the host of the the OIFF.  Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is the worlds largest and longest running International film festival in the world and leading 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization in our region.  SIFF reaches over 250,000 annually with both SIFF Cinema and SIFF Education.

For OIFF  Press inquiries, contact sara@orcasfilmfest.com

Website:    www.orcasislandfilmfest.com

TWITTER: @OrcasFilmFest



INDIEFLIX CEO Scilla Andreen – Community engagement

Raising Awareness without spreading Fear

By Scilla Andreen – CEO/Co-Founder of INDIEFLIX


I want to help. I think we all do, we just need a

clear path to follow. But how do we raise awareness to formulate a plan of action without spreading fear?

How do we respond to homelessness, global warming, mass shootings etc.? I feel completely out of my wheelhouse. I’m at a loss of how to approach the situation. It’s just so big. Thank goodness there are amazing organizations working tirelessly to address so many of these issues but I don’t even know how to begin the vetting process to identify which organizations to support.

The steady stream of negative images and overwhelming numbers bombarding us at lightening speed is paralyzing. We live in survival mode. My silver-lining syndrome is greatly challenged.


I think we can start by paying more attention to our immediate community. Let’s figure out how to really be there for each other. Let’s put our phones down and look up into each other’s eyes. We need a closer look and a long term fix.

Technology has got to play key a role. Let’s celebrate the positive and acknowledge, even pay tribute to the incredible and often invisible people who shape our lives. Let’s get to know each other; perhaps we might notice when someone is going off the deep-end. We need to talk to each other and share our stories, the good stuff, the mundane and the tough stuff. We need to listen. Ideas will percolate and maybe, just maybe an actionable plan will emerge.

I think about the work we do at the IndieFlix Foundation. We support stories mostly in the film and VR medium to start conversations that turn into movements. The Foundation works closely with the IndieFlix Corporation to access the globe and as a result the response has been incredible. Students, families and educators share how our work has helped to save lives, transform communities and empower women all over the world. I am proud of this work, our team, our partners and the incredibly talented women and men we work with every day but there’s got to be more we can do? Whatever it is I know for sure we have to do it together.


My mother used to say, “after me you come first” I used to think she was so selfish but now that I’m the adult, I understand. It’s the same premise as, put your oxygen mask on first and then your child. If we don’t take care of ourselves how can we take care of each other? And if we can’t take care of each other how will we be able to spot when someone is in distress? How can we make the world safer? Perhaps by being the best living, breathing, role models every day; maybe that will create a halo effect. It’s a start.

Sharing thoughts from 38k feet

Scilla will be a featured speaker at the 2016 SEATTLE INTERACTIVE CONFERENCE Oct 18-19, 2016.  This a is ‘Must Attend’ Seattle event for those engaged in the creative, tech and business communities.


Scilla Andreen, mother, filmmaker, CEO & Co-Founder IndieFlix, Founder IndieFlix Foundation, Executive Producer Empowerment Project, Screenagers, Angst, Speaker SIC16


Portland Film Festival ushers in cinematic spectacle.

Portland -OR

The Portland Film Festival 2016 delivered an impressive eight day showcase of independent films that came in from all four corners of the globe.  Completing only their fourth year and already making headlines as a nationally recognized  festival (TOP Festival to attend by MovieMaker Magazine), we got the chance to sit down with founder/executive director Josh Leake to share with us his elaborate endeavor.

Founder and Executive Director Josh Leake

Founder and Executive Director Josh Leake

Q:  Tell us a bit about PDXFF.

A:  We launched PDXFF in 2013 and recently were told that our film festival feels like a festival that’s been around for many more years.  We are fortunate to have been voted as a TOP film festival to attend by the press this year which allowed for us to reach a much broader demographic of national and international filmmakers from our start-up years.  We’ve been grateful to have skipped our “terrible” two’s so to speak and present a festival that’s growing quite rapidly among Indie filmmakers from around the world.  In 2015, we have over 1500 industry people attend with hundreds of filmmakers in attendance.  this year we exceed both of those figures.  Opening night this year featured a speed networking event that brought in over 125 people from as far off as Australia that had the unique opportunity to meet with distributors, which is the primary goal for most filmmakers.

Q: Your volunteer team has been highly recognized as one of the biggest and most dynamic components of your festival.  Tell us about that.

A: One thing that makes our festival unique is that we are 100% volunteer driven.  That model really brings people that are dedicated and are committed that love film.

Q: Tell us about your opening night film VIP guests that attend from MIDDLE MAN.


(R-L) Josh McDermitt, Jim O’Heir, Ned Crowley (Writer/Director) and Josh Leake @ Red Carpet Opening night premier

A: We were very grateful to have the Writer/Director Ned Crowley and his two lead actors JIM O’HEIR (Parks and Rec ) and JOSH McDERMITT (Walking Dead) join us during the entire film festival. Their attendance complimented our mission to bring recognizable names to our festival that support IndieFilm.

Q: What did you do differently this year than last year that helped your festival  model?

A:  In 2015, we were in over 15 venues around the city of Portland.  But this year we decided to consolidate our entire festival into one venue that would create a much more intimate connection with our filmmakers, guests and local businesses in one area of the city.  Logistically it turned out to be much more effective that lead to creating much more dynamic energy in a more controlled environment.  We learned that having multiple venues around the city seemed more fractured regarding energy and engagement. But this years model proved to be a true winner for us all around.

Q:   Tell us about your core leadership team and your programming. 

A:  We have over 20 staffers that help out with various aspects of our festival.  But one new addition that really complimented our programming goals this year was bringing on SMARTHOUSE CREATIVE Co-Founder, Seattle filmmaker, producer and festival guru BRAD WILKE. Brad has been one of the most valuable programmers at the Seattle International Film Festival for many years. His programming team received over 3800 submissions this year that resulted in one of the most impressive screening schedules of over 120 films from around the world that included 51% from Female Directors.  We also really pride our selves on being a ‘storysentric’ film festival that is not genre specific.     

Q: Tell us about your educational outreach program throughout the greater Portland area.

A: Last year we featured over 90 workshops, classes, panels and events at over 15 different venues that highlighted multiple aspects of the filmmaking and creative process.  Colleges we partner with each year include Clakamus Community College, Portland Art Institute and Portland State University to mention a few.  This year we scaled down the outreach to compliment our new intimate connective creative outreach model to less than 30.     

Media Inc highly recommends the PDXFF for emerging filmmakers to submit and and attend for 2017!


(L-R) UK Award Winning filmmakers Rebecca Brand and DP Daniella Cesarei of Credible Likable Superstar Role Model documentary and Media Inc’s JESS

Follow Portland Film Festival on TWITTER and FACEBOOK


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HollyShorts Film Festival welcomes Pacific Northwest Alliance!

Award Winning Seattle Filmmakers set to showcase films at the 2016 LA Hollyshorts Film Festival!

Seattle, WA — Media Inc has partnered with Hollyshorts Film Festival as their official press affiliate this year covering the events from the iconic TCL Theater and the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard Aug 11-20.

HollyShorts Film Festival announced last week the 3rd annual inclusion of  the “WA State Film Showcase” for their line-up of special film short screenings.  Hosted at the iconic Grauman’s  Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard and other LA venues (The Roosevelt Hotel, Harmony Gold Theater, OHM Nighclub, Ignited Spaces, Avenue 17 Studios, 33 Taps and Redbury Hollywood), the 12th annual Hollyshorts Film Festival will be featuring works from 400+Indie Film shorts from around the world during a week long odyssey between Aug 11-20 packed with of screenings, conferences, parties, panels, workshops and special events.  Nearly 3000 films from every continent were submitted this year.

Ben Andrews and David S. Hogan

Ben Andrews and David S. Hogan

Pacific NW production companies Evil Slave (ES), Abundant Productions (AP), Mighty Tripod Productions (MTP), Modern Motion (MM) and Capestany Films (CF) will be featuring works from PNW Filmmakers.    Headlining the showcase will be the World Premier of 2015 Award Winning Hollyshorts screenplay “The Lunchbox Brigade”.  Produced  collectively by Lorraine Montez, Ben Andrews, David S. Hogan, Marissa Fujimoto, Ryan Wagenhauser and Christopher Meuer,  this warm and adventurous coming of age tale featured over WA state with a cast and crew filmed entirely in the Evergreen State.

The Lunchbox Brigade follows a neighborhood squadron of kids that discovers their brother-in-arms, Johnny, has gone to camp for the summer. They determine a rescue is in order, and together they embark on an antic-filled plan to infiltrate enemy territory (aka summer camp) and free their friend. But when their leader, Teddy, discovers that Johnny actually wants to be at camp, he must lead the Lunchbox Brigade in a touching tribute to the loss of one of theirown.Media Inc Roosevelt party banner

Casted by David S. Hogan of Mighty Tripod Productions, the local talent included Kyan Zielinski as Teddy, Forrest Campbell as Bugsy, Malakai James as Logan, Kristoffer Holtan as Clyde, Eden Campbell as Sue and Alex Silva as Johnny.  “I had a great time casting the talent for this great film.  The amount of talent we saw during the auditions was very impressive.  The kids that were ultimately cast are some of the region’s best young performers I’ve seen,” said Hogan.   

Hollyshorts is listed by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the “top 25 festivals worth the entry fee,” HollyShorts awards the winner of the screenplay competition with an automatic entry in the following year’s festival.

Seattle-based producer and filmmaker Ben Andrews, creative director of Evil Slave, recognized an opportunity to create a strong alliance of filmmakers from Seattle, Tacoma and Los Angeles when he met the HollyShorts leadership early in 2014 at SXSW. “It happened pretty quickly,” said Andrews. “I discussed the need to highlight Washington filmmakers and they discussed the need to expand and further their outreach.”

“It’s truly an honor to see our dreams becoming a reality, having our esteemed HollyShorts Screenplay competition winner Kyle Thiele get his short made via our partners Evil Slave, Abundant Productions and Mighty Tripod Productions along with Shoreline Community College’s Filmmaking Department,” said Theo Dumont and Daniel Sol, HollyShorts co-founders. “This alliance truly signifies the new pathway between the Pacific Northwest and Hollywood, a bridge that creates incredible opportunities across the board for filmmakers everywhere and we are delighted to be involved.”

Lorainne Montez

Lorainne Montez

Pacific Northwest producer Scott A. Capestany, Creative Director at Capestany Films, has sponsored and supported this new alliance and movement since its inception. “We are proud sponsors of the HollyShort film festival each year in support of Ben Andrews’ efforts in helping bridge the gap between the L.A. indie film market and our local market,” he said. “His resilient efforts have helped open up new relationships between Puget Sound businesses and Hollywood decision makers that support the growth of our Washington State economy and our vibrant film/TV local industry.”ATP Blue poster_HS laurel

Capestany’s latest film “Across The Pond” starring University of Washington alum and now Hollywood writer/producer/actor PARIS DYLAN, was selected to screen during this years WA Film showcase.  “It was an honor and privilege to have worked with such a great team on this film. Pulp Digital Productions really pulled out all the stops and delivered an impressive film.   Rene (Bourke) really worked hard leading us all for over a year to make this film come to reality,” Dylan said.  “I’m so proud of our amazing team, Pulp Digital Productions, Paris Dylan, and special mention to Capestany Films for their consulting, guidance, and marketing expertise to see this film through to showcased in the worlds entertainment capital of Hollywood at this prestigious Hollyshorts Film Festival.” Said Executive Producer and lead actress Renee Bourke.  Also supporting the 2016 Hollyshorts Alliance are industry leaders Terri Morgan of TCM MODELS and Peter Barnes of  CLATTER & DIN, Inc.Hollyshorts 2016

“I’m honored to be the winner of the 2015 Screenplay competition with HollyShorts and am impressed with the professional caliber of the Pacific Northwest filmmakers producing the short,” said Thiele, writer and director of The LunchBox Brigade.

The 12th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival and Film Conference/Film Market is scheduled for August 11-20, 2016 at the world famous TCL Chinese Theatres.  The WA State Film Showcase will take place August 14, 2016 from 10am-2pm followed by an Abundant Playhouse special screenwriting event.   MEDIA INC MAGAZINE will host a special kickoff event at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Saturday August 13th from 7-10pm. RSVP HERE.  Visit www.hollyshorts.com for more information. Hollyshorts on Twitter and Instagram


Anne Marie Gillen joins MI as associate editor

Media Inc Magazine welcomes Award Winning Producer Anne Marie Gillen (Producers Guild of America) as Associate Editor to compliment the publications efforts of increasing its global  outreach and engagement  within the independent film arena.  She will help oversee coordinating National and International press, PR and industry event editorial coverage.

As former COO of Morgan Freeman’s production company ‘Revelation Entertainment’, Gillen’s work as a Producer, Consultant, Lecturer and Corporate/Executive Coach has spanned the elite levels of motion picture development and financing business for over 25 years.  Her work as Executive Producer on Universal Studios feature film ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ paved the way for  global box-office success grossing over $110M.  As an expert in film finance, distribution, digital media and film development, Gillen also brings a plethora of top tiered industry relationship to Media Inc Magazine’s network.  She is the co-author of the 3rd edition of The Producer’s Business Handbook – published by Focal Press and co-branded by Variety. Her second book The Business of Show Business for Creatives has also been published by Focal Press and co-branded by American Film Market (AFM). The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance®  She is the CEO and President of ‘The Gillen Group, LLC’ whom specializes in working with ‘IndieFilm’ producers realize their projects.  Anne Marie can be reached at  amgillen@gillengroupllc.com 

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2016 Seattle Shorts announces opening night guest!

Provided by Smarthouse Creative

The shorts are coming! Seattle Shorts Film Festival is November 11-13th, 2016 at SIFF Film Center.

Known for bringing Hollywood to the Northwest, Seattle Shorts will return for the 6th annual festival this fall with well-known guests, speakers, and exciting new films. Seattle Shorts is the only regional festival dedicated to bringing brilliant short films to Seattle audiences. The festival continues to grow — already the 2016 festival has attracted a record 1400 submissions, and has expanded a full day to become a three day event.

This year’s program includes a special twist: opening night will be a feature film! Before I Disappear is a feature-length adaptation of director Shawn Christensen’s 2012 Oscar-winning short film, CURFEWFATIMA PTACEK Headshot

Lead actress (and voice of Dora the Explorer) Fatima Ptacek will attend opening night. Other highlights include a program of female-directed films; a block of music videos; and a panel discussion called “Navigating the Film Festival Circuit” with Seattle Shorts alumni. Look for the full program announcement in early August. Tickets and more information at seattleshort.org.




By Smarthouse Creative

This July 28-31, STIFF will energize and strengthen the Seattle film scene. STIFF is the only regional festival dedicated to showcasing work created specifically for new digital storytelling platforms. Since 2013, the organization’s new mission now includes incubating talent via mentorship, fiscal sponsorship, and equipment loans, making it an important new launch pad for emerging new media artists.
STIFF is ready to provide another opportunity for the city to experience the vanguard of digital storytelling. Audiences can enjoy and participate in the latest, cutting-edge accomplishments in the field of transmedia — that is, video games, feature films, interactive installations, virtual reality, and many more boundary-crossing works of art.

The festival will open with Delaney Ruston’s “Screenagers” on July 28 beginning at 7pm, followed by a gala afterparty. The new locally-produced documentary explores how technology impacts kids’ development and the challenges of parenting in the digital world. With surprising insights from authors and brain scientists, solutions emerge on how parents can empower kids to best navigate these challenges. “Screenagers” has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, and Good Morning America, among many other outlets.

Expect an announcement from STIFF’s programming team to be made during this year’s opening night festivities!

New this year: The festival will take over the glamorous Factory Luxe venue inside the historic Rainier Brewery Building on Airport Way!

Other festival highlights include:

  • Transmedia Gallery with virtual reality, 360 video, interactive content, gaming and video art–all free and open to the public.

  • Sisterhood of Shred” a documentary that shares the story of a community of local women who engage in the sport of mountain biking

Similar to the model established by the Sundance Institute’s “Labs” program, in which promising filmmakers are selected for special workshopping of their projects, STIFF has recently formalized and bolstered their efforts to incubate local talent (Seattle Transmedia Collective). Projects that have benefitted from STIFF’s support include “Asylum,” the story of a woman’s struggle through a marriage of control, rape and physical abuse, and the mental health issues it causes; “Baked – A Web Series,” a show currently in production that is hosted by 84-year-old grandma Patsy Benson who crafts delicious cannabis-based edibles; SplicedVR, a local VR/360/180 content development firm whose “Desire” was co-presented with SIFF at the Pacific NW Science Center Laser Dome for the SIFFX.net 360 NW Program; “Redline,” a feature length documentary currently in production about a, organization that was formed to oppose the Tacoma Methane Plant; and “Polyamorous”, a WA FilmWorks innovation lab proposal for a feature length Second Screen App.

Says festival director Tim Vernor, “Transmedia is at such an exciting point right now. The festival is a real opportunity for audiences to be the first to see this type of work – to say ‘I was there.’ Filmmakers are sure to leave inspired to move into this new frontier — the possibilities for producing great art are really just emerging.”

All-access festival passes and individual are currently on sale at stiff.eventbrite.com. Opening night tickets are on sale now at tinyurl.com/stiff-screenagers. The full program will be available online beginning July 14.

Join the STIFF conversation: Mailing list | Instagram |  Facebook | Twitter

Keep Film in WA

Attendees of the Keep Film in WA campaign launch in Spokane, Bellingham and Seattle listened to Amy Lillard (Filmworks executive director) and Don Jensen (Filmworks board chair) speak about the upcoming legislative session. Photos by Joe Flores.

Attendees of the Keep Film in WA campaign launch in Spokane, Bellingham and Seattle listened to Amy Lillard (Filmworks executive director) and Don Jensen (Filmworks board chair) speak about the upcoming legislative session. All photos by Joe Flores.

The Washington film industry is battling for its future as the 2016 legislative session rolls on.

Flanked by a strong coalition of film industry allies, Washington Filmworks is leading a campaign to fight for the future of production in the state.

Specifically, Filmworks and its “Keep Film in WA” campaign partners are rallying behind House Bill 2542 (HB 2542), which, if signed into law, would increase funding for the production incentive program and extend its sunset date.

Credit Joe Flores 3

Amy Lillard

Prime sponsored by Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-3), the bill doubles the size of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program fund to $7 million over two years and increases the fund incrementally until it reaches $10 million by the year 2020. The bill will also extend the sunset date of the program to December 31, 2023.

With its current film incentive fund of just $3.5 million per year, the state has had to turn away millions of dollars in business. In 2015, Washington State lost out on $65 million in economic activity after Washington Filmworks exhausted its fund by March. By increasing the fund’s cap to $7 million, and eventually $10 million, HB 2542 would make Washington more competitive when it comes to drawing production from outside the state.

Credit Joe Flores 2

Don Jensen

Washington Filmworks urges film industry professionals to help the campaign by signing the Keep Film in WA petition (KeepFilminWA.com) and by contacting their local legislators to not only provide them with facts and data about the incentive program, but to also share their personal stories of why film is important in Washington State.

Additionally, on January 21, Filmworks organized Film Day in Olympia. Over 200 film professionals and supporters from around the state showed up to lobby their legislators in support of the bill. Campaigners were able to organize and execute over 100 meetings with legislators and got great feedback and insight from the attendees who took the meetings.

Following Film Day, on January 22, was the Hearing in front of the House Finance Committee, during which 9 members of the film community testified on behalf of HB 2542. According to Filmworks, a total of 35 people signed in to support the bill that morning—an amazing show of support.

Stay tuned to www.washingtonfilmworks.org as the legislative session progresses to find out what you can do to Keep Film in WA!

Filmmaker Celia Jensen poses with her friends on the Opening Night red carpet at the Seattle Cinerama during NFFTY 2014. Photo by Mark Malijan

Looking Back at 10 Years of NFFTY

Filmmaker Celia Jensen poses with her friends on the Opening Night red carpet at the Seattle Cinerama during NFFTY 2014. Photo by Mark Malijan

Filmmaker Celia Jensen poses with her friends on the Opening Night red carpet at the Seattle Cinerama during NFFTY 2014. Photo by Mark Malijan

By Todd Kaumans Program Manager, NFFTY

This April, NFFTY (pronounced ‘nifty’, standing for the National Film Festival for Talented Youth) turns 10 years old! In addition to inspiring us to present the best festival yet, the anniversary also gives us a chance to look back at the many highlights of the past decade.

NFFTY was founded by Seattle native Jesse Harris, who, after producing and distributing his feature film Living Life as a college student, realized there was no festival specializing in presenting the work of young people. He teamed up with Jocelyn R.C. and Kyle Seago, and in 2007 the first ever NFFTY took place as a one-night event, showing work from around the country.

NFFTY 2008 filmmakers pose together for a group photo in front of the press wall. Photo by Mong Kon Mo

NFFTY 2008 filmmakers pose together for a group photo in front of the press wall. Photo by Mong Kon Mo

By 2008 the festival was a three-day affair, with a full program of screenings, panels and two concerts. In 2009 we began accepting international submissions, making the festival a truly worldwide event. By 2010 the now four-day festival included 190 films representing 33 states and 16 countries, and in 2011 NFFTY was officially the world’s largest film festival for emerging filmmakers.

Over the years we’ve featured the work of some truly tremendous talents, and we couldn’t be more proud of our alumni. Former NFFTY filmmakers are now working for prestigious companies such as The Weinstein Company, Pixar, and Trigger Street Productions, including Kevin Klauber who edited the Academy Award-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.

A representative from AJA Video Systems instructs filmmakers during the NFFTY 2015 Digital Expo at McCaw Hall. Photo by Octavian Matei

A representative from AJA Video Systems instructs filmmakers during the NFFTY 2015 Digital Expo at McCaw Hall. Photo by Octavian Matei

Though Jesse has since moved on to pursue his own film projects, the festival now boasts award-winning producer and nonprofit executive Stefanie Malone as the manager of the organization. Under her leadership, in 2014 NFFTY created our Young Women in Film initiative, a year-round effort to support young female filmmakers around the world. NFFTY also formally launched an in-house production company known as NFFTY Creative with the mission of connecting sponsors and brands with the festival’s most promising alumni to work on original branded content projects. The first major project, “A Supporting Role,” has earned multiple accolades including ADDY Awards and a Telly Award.

Hollywood producer Dana Brunetti (House of Cards, The Social Network, Fifty Shades of Grey) speaks on the keynote panel during NFFTY 2011. Photo by Bobby Bonsey

Hollywood producer Dana Brunetti (House of Cards, The Social Network, Fifty Shades of Grey) speaks on the keynote panel during NFFTY 2011. Photo by Bobby Bonsey

And we haven’t stopped growing! Last year the festival had a record-breaking 248 films representing 30 states and 25 countries. The festival continued to support female filmmakers with a closing night screening called “Femme Finale.” Forty-eight percent of the films screened at the festival were directed by young women, a major accomplishment compared to Hollywood where women direct less than nine percent of films.

NFFTY now looks toward its 10th anniversary, happening April 28 – May 1. Over 1,000 emerging filmmakers from around the globe submitted their work for consideration in this major milestone of the festival’s history. The festival will also launch our first ever
Screenwriting Competition to be operated as both a component of the annual event and also in the off-season.

Visit our website, www.nffty.org, for more information about this year’s event, and to get your tickets!

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Ashland Named A Best Place to Live and Work as a Filmmaker by MovieMaker Magazine for Third Year in a Row

Ashland article_Bagshaw

By Ginny Auer Executive Director, Southern Oregon Film and Media (SOFaM)
Photo by Sean Bagshaw

When thinking of Ashland, most people’s minds go to the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the powder atop the slopes of Mt. Ashland or the many local wineries and breweries. But after a third year in a row on the list of best places to live and work as a filmmaker in MovieMaker Magazine, Ashland’s reputation as a filmmaking hub is solid as well.

Ashland was recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as the #2 Town to Live and Work as a MovieMaker in the nation for 2014, and then was honored with a bump to #1 in January of 2015! In 2016, MovieMaker changed the criteria for the award to combine small cities and towns. Ashland beat out film hubs with populations of more than 150,000 and more robust incentive packages, ranking at #5 on the list this year. How is it that this small town of 20,000 is getting such accolades? MovieMaker cited “a bustling culinary scene, a no-big box store policy (and no state sales tax!), film festivals, independent theaters and a super-supportive film organization called Southern Oregon Film and Media (SOFaM).”

SOFaM supports the local film industry by promoting the region to both local and out-of-area producers, and works to connect productions with local film professionals, actors, equipment and resources via its online directory. With its large database and deep reach across the entire region, SOFaM is a great place to start for any film or media project.

In recent years, Ashland has shown up on big and small screens quite a bit. Wild, with Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon, featured the downtown area, as well as nearby sections of the scenic Pacific Crest Trail. Ashland was also seen in Night Moves with Jesse Eisenberg and then again in the locally-produced independent film Black Road. Companies like Hewlett-Packard and even John Deere are finding Southern Oregon a great place to film.

Ashland has a film-friendly community, with low- to no-cost permits, strong state incentives, no sales tax and unexpectedly large numbers of filmmakers, technicians, equipment, support services and on-screen talent.

And then there are the kinds of resources you don’t expect to find in a town this size. Beyond the talented performers that join the Oregon Shakespeare Festival each year, OSF’s costume rental shop is just as impressive. The shop is the size of a football field with costumes from nearly every era, and it regularly rents to theaters, film and TV productions across the country, including Saturday Night Live.

Ashland is in the center of a filmmaker’s goldmine. Southern Oregon boasts a unique and beautiful coastline, high desert to the east, and many small towns with a host of unique venues for shooting. Medford, situated at the heart of the region, is the location of an airport with direct flights to and from Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Salt Lake City and Phoenix. When taken as a whole, the MovieMaker designation of Ashland as a best place to live and be a filmmaker really applies to all of Southern Oregon.

Cameras are rolling in Southern Oregon like never before and SOFaM extends an invitation for new and returning filmmakers to join in and see what all the buzz is about!

The Source for Northwest Media News and Information