All posts by Scott A. Capestany

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AMERICAN FILM MARKET 2017: Full Line-up of GLOBAL INDUSTRY EXPERTS!

LOS ANGELES, CA – October 30, 2017 

AFM2017_WORKER_14x21Courtesy of AFM PR @DDAGroup

The American Film Market (AFM®) today announced its full list of speakers for their conferences, roundtables and workshops. A large number of leading independent producers, distributors, financiers and marketing executives are confirmed to participate. This year’s market is taking place November 1 – 8, in Santa Monica.

Speakers include Focus Features’ Kiska Higgs, Lionsgate’s Thomas Hughes, OddLot Entertainment’s Adrian Alperovich, Producer/Agent Cassian Elwes, Skydance Media’s Jesse Sisgold and STX Films’ Sam Brown

Conferences on finance, pitching, production and distribution connect attendees to thought leaders from across the industry, providing exclusive access to insider knowledge. Roundtables explore specialized topics and timely issues in an intimate setting.

Confirmed speakers and moderators, in alphabetical order, include:

  • Adrian Alperovich, COO, OddLot Entertainment
  • Adrian Ward, SVP & Manager, Entertainment Industries Division, Pacific Mercantile Bank
  • Alexis Garcia, Partner, Global Finance & Distribution, WME
  • Alison Thompson, Co-President, Cornerstone Films
  • Andy Bohn, Co-Founder & Partner, The Film Arcade
  • Anjay Nagpal, SVP Production & Distribution, Bron Studios
  • Anna Godas, CEO, Dogwoof
  • Barbara Mudge, President & Founder, Worldwide Film Entertainment
  • Ben Stillman, SVP, Black Bear Pictures
  • Brian O’Shea, CEO, The Exchange
  • Bruce Eisen, President, Digital Advisors
  • Cassian Elwes, Independent Producer/Agent
  • Christine D’Souza Gelb, Agent, WME
  • Clay Epstein, President, Film Mode Entertainment
  • Cynthia Tollett, Assistant Executive Director, Directors Guild of America
  • Dana Lustig, Principal, Dana Lustig Productions
  • Darrien Michele Gipson, National Director, SAGindie
  • David Austin, EVP, Bridgestone Multimedia
  • DeVon Franklin, Producer & CEO, Franklin Entertainment
  • Felix Tsang, Sales and Acquisitions Manager, Golden Scene Company Limited
  • Geena Davis, Actress, Producer, Activist
  • Gerren Crochet, Packaging Agent, Film Finance and Distribution, The Gersh Agency
  • Hanny Patel, VP, Video Marketing, AT&T Entertainment Group
  • Ian Bricke, Director, Content Acquisition, Netflix
  • Jen McGowan, Director
  • Jesse Sisgold, President/COO, Skydance Media
  • Jim Whitaker, Producer, A Wrinkle in Time
  • Joe Chianese, EVP, EP Financial Solutions
  • John Penotti, President, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
  • Kay S. Wolf, Senior Representative/Member Organizing Department, Writers Guild of America West
  • Kevin Downes, Producer & President, Kevin Downes Production & South West Film Group
  • Kevin Iwashina, Founder & CEO, Preferred Content
  • Kiska Higgs, Head of Acquisitions and Co-Productions, Focus Features
  • Laurens Grant, Director & Producer
  • Lisa Remington, Producer
  • Lisa Wilson, Partner, The Solution Entertainment Group
  • Lucy Mukerjee-Brown, Director of Programming, Outfest & Newfest
  • Mark Damon, CEO & Chairman, Foresight Unlimited
  • Martin Katz, Founder and President, Prospero Pictures
  • Neema Barnette, Director
  • Patrick Frater, Asia Bureau Chief, Variety
  • Paul Bales, Partner, The Asylum
  • Paul Hanson, CEO, Covert Media
  • Paul Hertzberg, President & CEO, CineTel Films, Inc.
  • Pilar Alessandra, Instructor/Consultant, On The Page
  • Rebecca Cammarata, Director of Development, Stay Gold Features
  • Richard Botto, Founder & CEO, Stage 32
  • Rick Bonn, Head of Development & Acquisitions, Pure Flix Entertainment
  • Russell Levine, CEO, Route One Films
  • Sam Brown, Head of Production, STXfilms
  • Shirley Davis, Executive Vice President, Physical Production, Alcon Entertainment, LLC
  • Stefan Lütje, Partner/Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Steve Chan Chi-Fat, Director, Weeds on Fire
  • Tania Jones, VP of Marketing & Customer Service, Shift72
  • Thomas Hughes, EVP, Worldwide Digital Distribution, Lionsgate
  • Tobin Armbrust, President, Worldwide Production & Acquisitions, Virgin Produced
  • Tom Ara, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Vicky Wong, Director, Trivisa
  • Wendy Calhoun, Writer/Producer, EMPIRE, NASHVILLE, JUSTIFIED

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Conference Schedule

Friday, November 3

Finance Conference I: The Big Picture

  • The Future of Global Film Finance
  • Spotlight Sessions

Saturday, November 4

Pitch Conference

  • Pitching Essentials
  • The 2-Minute Pitches

Sunday, November 5

Finance Conference II: Funding Films Today

  • Producing Studio Films with Independent Budgets
  • The Film Finance Matrix: From Script to Screen

Monday, November 6

Production Conference

  • Producing for the Pre-Sales Marketplace
  • What They Want: Inside the Studios

Tuesday, November 7

Distribution Conference

  • Working with Sales Agents
  • The Future of Video On Demand

Roundtable Schedule

Thursday, November 2

  • The Changing Hong Kong Movie Scene: What is New, How and Why?

Saturday, November 4

  • Building A Future For LGBTQ Film

Sunday, November 5

  • The Passion of the Film: Reaching the Faith Community
  • The Future is Female

Monday, November 6

  • Distributing & Monetizing Feature Documentaries

Tuesday, November 7

  • Working with the U.S. Guilds

Writers Workshop Sessions

Sunday, November 5

  • You Had Me At Page One
  • The Art of Cinematic Storytelling: Transforming Your Premise Into An Engaging Screenplay

Monday, November 6

  • ReVision: Seeing Your Script With New Eyes
  • Writing Compelling Characters

Special Events will include Engage: Navigating Hollywood’s Shifting Landscape, presented by Pepperdine Alumni Affairs and Pepperdine’s Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture.

The American Film Market is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance, IFTA-online.org. More information on the AFM can be found at AmericanFilmMarket.com

The American Film Market is the world’s largest motion picture business event. Over 7,000 industry leaders converge in Santa Monica for eight days of deal-making, screenings, conferences, networking and parties. Participants come from more than 80 countries and include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world’s press and all those who provide services to the motion picture industry.

Unlike a film festival, the AFM is a marketplace – with over 200,000 square feet of exhibition space – where production and distribution deals are closed. In just eight days, more than US$1 billion in deals will be sealed — on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production.

Participants may view more than 500 screenings of 300+ films – 29 new films every two hours – the majority world or U.S. premieres. Titles range from big budget blockbusters that will be released by the major studios to lower budget art and genre films recognized at international film festivals.

With 7,000 attendees, 500 screenings, 300 exhibiting distributors, and the industry’s largest Conference series, AFM is the pivotal destination for independent filmmakers and business people from all over the world.

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American Film Market 2017 – Insider Tips!

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By Editor-In-Chief:  SCOTT A. CAPESTANY

One of North America’s most high-profile international film markets will again arrive this November 1-8 along the beautiful shores of the Santa Monica Beachfront.

Since 1991, the American Film Market (AFM) will again bring together over 8000+ industry professionals from 80+ countries around the globe to their host location SANTA MONICA LOEWS HOTEL at 1700 Ocean Avenue.  With 2,000+ new films & projects, 1,000+ production companies, 700+ screenings, 400+ distributors, 100+ speakers and over $1 billion in deals closed every year, the AFM will be ground zero for Hollywood year ending deal-making push heading into the Fall awards season.

AFM 2017

The AFM will be screening a record 400+ films this year for buyers throughout 15 theaters in Santa Monica including nine HD screening rooms at multiple surrounding hotels whom all are seeking some form of distribution.

Aside from the impressive line-up of panels, conferences, networking mixers and private events throughout the week-long odyssey of the AFM, I’ve always been impressed with  how both the AFM and the SANTA MONICA LOEWS staff interface and treat attendees with class.

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The Loews Santa Monica Hotel – Courtesy of hotel website

Which leads to our #MediaIncMag TIP #1: 

Respect the AFM and host hotel staff.  Many staffers from both teams have been working this event for multiple years.  There’s an old saying “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”.   Giving these hard working men and women the respect that they deserve will go along way at this spectacular event.

Arriving early to pick up your badges is always a good idea.

Credential Hours:

9:00am – 6:00pm:       October 30 –  October 31
8:30am – 6:30pm:       November 1 – November 4
9:00am – 6:00pm:       November 5 – 8

#MediaIncMag TIP #2: Download both the MyAFM and CINANDO App.  These two digital tools will be  valuable resources for your to use at AFM.   They will enhance your entire experience, enhance your time management skills and help you locate key individuals for your meetings.

Media Inc Magazine has partnered with CINANDO at both this years AFM and Sundance 2018 to help filmmakers access the most current industry information.  This year, every AFM badge holder will receive a FREE one-year subscription to Cinando!

Cinando

This helpful international online networking tool and festival database will up your game exponentially.  The resource guide will give you contacts, films, projects in development, market screening schedules, market attendees and more!

The MyAFM app is a handy tool as it allows you to view all the attendees and request professional meetings instantly via an interactive live calendar. You can also upload materials (treatments, pitch decks, etc.) for executives to view in advance.  This tool is sure to keep you a step a head of everyone else when it comes to scheduling meetings.  The app also will allow you to interface with other attendees. Great way  to expand your network and meet new partners, business alliances and maybe even make new friends. #MediaIncMag TIP: Narrow your contact list down to around 30-50 companies to reach out to.  Not every company will be a good match for your project, so do your research.

GET YOUR PITCH ON!  A few years ago I have the honor of being selected to “pitch” one of our feature film projects at Capestany Films to a massive ball room packed with international press and over 500+ industry professionals. The opportunity helped move my career needle in a positive direction exponentially.  Around fifteen or so were selected from around the world representing approximately eight countries.

During our presentations, we each were given three minutes to pitch our project and get feedback from a legend in the independent film world.

CASSIAN ELWES, whose extraordinary career as one of the most connected producers within the independent film space will again provide insight to producers during this conference.  Hollywood Reporter once said that he was “involved in a virtual who’s who of every great independent film of the last ten years”.

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Producer Cassian Elwes – Expert in Financing and Distribution 2016 AFM

As an expert in financing and distribution at William Morris Independent, Elwes helped Shepard over 280 films during his tenure at WMI from 1994-2009.  Since his departure, he has been involved in over 30 films including some of Indy films most high profile productions in the last handful of years including ‘Mudbound’ which sold to Netflix at Sundance earlier this last year for a record $12.5M and will open the AFI Fest November 9th at the historic TCL Chinese Theater.

Aside from being a master negotiator that has yielded extraordinary profits on most projects he’s involved in,  his loyalty to both preserving and growing the world of independent film  has recently led him on a new path of giving back to the community exponentially.  He has recently launched projects and initiatives that are bringing more women and people of color (See our Sundance/Nextfest press write-ups) into the industry as creatives including the launch of The Black List’s Cassian Elwes Screenwriting Fellowship  and The Horizon Award.

Elwes helpful insight during my pitch ignited my project with genuine, practical and powerful words from someone whom I consider a legend in the Indie Film game.  Shortly after walking off the stage, my team was approached by a number of financiers and buyers on the floor surrounding me interested in helping guide my endeavor.

Moderating the Pitch conference again this year is one of the industry’s leading experts in the “Art of the Pitch”, Pilar Alessandra from ON THE PAGE.  As a trusted industry colleague of mine and magnificent “go to person” for screenplay consulting to some of the biggest names in the literary community, her workshops are packed with very helpful industry insider intel that’s sure to help tighten up your pitch decks and IP.

Bonus TIP: This conference is earmarked by #MediaIncMag as a must attend.

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AFM Pitch conference – (L-R) Producers Torbin Armbrust, Cassian Elwes and Moderator Pilar Alessandra. (pitch finalist far right unknown) Photo courtesy of AFM

Strategy + Cost   The AFM is well worth the registration fees and highly recommend to go ALL IN for the best All-Access badge you can afford. We recommend the Industry Plus badge if you are on a budget.  If you have the budget, highly recommend not going cheap and get the Executive Plus badge for the entire event.

Click here for Registration badges.

There are a number of strategies to make your AFM experience effective, however these additional insider tips could really help you move your career needle in the right direction.

Dress to impress  – Being presentable is 90% of the first 30 seconds in meeting a decision maker.  the other 10% is your timing.  Over the years I’ve seen numerous industry folks make the mistake of treating this market as a casual conference.  Showing up in inappropriate attire, shabby sneakers and jeans.   What seems to be the appropriate wardrobe standard are sport coat + pressed dress shirt (no tie required) for men and modest professional ensemble for women.

Tech – Remember this is a deal-making week and it’s well into the 21st century.  Hundreds of deals are done at the AFM each year.  A great app to add to your quiver of digital tools when entering the deal making phase of your meetings is DOCU-SIGN (Free APP + free for 30 days as of this publication).  You can have your NDA’s loaded and other documents at your finger tips to e-send and receive e-signatures.    Suggest bringing your fully charged + power laptop and/or tablet loaded with all your digital materials, pitch decks, etc.  to present instantly and professionally when discussing your project.  (** always consult with your Lawyer on contracts ** )

Professional updated resume –  Make sure you have an updated IMDB pro page and Linked IN pages.

Research – When you arrive at AFM, be current and up to speed  on what’s trending in the industry feeds, news and channels.  When laying out your master plan for AFM, you will want to do your due diligence with every person + company you plan on meeting.  Arrive well-informed with digital VOD distribution trends (it’s 95%+ of what’s being talked about) and sharpen up on the plethora of other industry insider intel available online.  Follow AFM on TWITTER and download their handy APP.

Social Media – Who you follow, are followed by, post and engage with defines much of who you are as a professional and often times as a person.  Update your LINKED IN profile to reflect your current projects and recommendations from other industry colleagues.

A well versed industry expert in the social media space within the entertainment space is STAGE 32 CEO RB Botto (See below).  Highly recommend joining the Stage 32 social media community (It’s FREE) and diving into the plethra of well written and insightful blogs + podcasts on the industry including great wisdom on effective social media skills when interacting with industry professionals.  He’s a guru on the topics of crowdfunding in which he has recently launched his new book, “Crowd Sourcing for Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd” available both online (click link) and at the #AFM2017.   RB is stand up guy and an extraordinarily gifted professional writer himself.

Meetings – With over 400 production + distribution companies having offices set up throughout the hotel, be sure you research which ones would be a good fit for your project. Research them and find out their slate + mission statements. Especially who their executives and decision makers are.   These are the men and women in acquisitions, development and production.  See what they are doing in the industry trades as well.

BONUS TIP: Google + IMDB  are great sources.

Always be on time and be prepared to be “bumped” or moved to another time slot last-minute.  Selling comes before buying at this market so don’t take it personal.

Bonus TIP: Your objective with your meetings is not to SELL your project, but to schedule a second meeting.

  1. Tools – Utilize the AFM and Cinando APPs strategically.  Recommend being clever and professional when reaching out to companies while never sending them IP electronically (scripts, pitch decks, etc.) unless they request it in a reply.  Always consult your lawyer when sharing IP.  They are FREE downloads on both Google play Apple store.
  2. Legal – Email your entertainment lawyer with your schedule of meetings.  Make sure they are up to speed with what projects you will be presenting, pitching, etc.  Decision makers will generally ask who your lawyer is if they are interested in your project/s.  So prepare them with a simple outline of your weeks activities and if they are available at odd times.  Remember, this is a “deal making” market with people working from very early in the mornings to very late throughout the week.
  3. Your PITCH – Strongly suggest you hire a consulting producer that knows the AFM’s terrain (if you are a newcomer) that can help you and your team present your project to industry decision makers.   This will do wonders for your projects if you are not a seasoned and gifted salesperson or know how the business mechanics of the industry work.  TIP: Two great sources we can recommend if you want to have a go at it yourself is learning more on the “Art of the Pitch” (prior to your arrival) from two of the industry’s TOP pitch consultants I’ve personally worked with.  Stephanie Palmer from GOOD IN A ROOM and this years AFM pitch conference moderator Pilar Alessandra from ONE THE PAGE.  Both women are wizards in the realm of pitching!
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Pilar Alessandra – ON THE PAGE

Final TIP:  For those of you wanting to up your film finance game from an industy insider, you’ll want to attend the FINANCE CONFERENCE II.  Hosted by an industry pro whom I highly respect and always enjoy learning from – RB Botto.  CEO and Founder of Stage 32.  He will be chopping it up with seasoned producers eager to share ‘insider intel’ on how how to stretch budgets and get films made using creative financing.

Date: Novemeber 5, 2017 Time: 9:15am-12:45pmLocation: Starlight Ballroom; Fairmont Hotel 

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RB Botto – CEO of Stage 32

Visit AMERICAN FILM MARKET (AFM)

Follow them on Twitter @AFMOfficial 

We will be reporting LIVE throughout the entire market this year via our TWITTER! @MediaIncMag

 

 

 

Scott on the set of one of his latest projects, The Rainforest.

THE RAINFOREST: Action/Adventure Thriller taking international stage!

Scott Capestany standing in front of field monitor.

Creator/Director Scott A. Capestany standing in front of field monitor.

The highly anticipated Feature Film The Rainforest, currently in development by Capestany Films, will soon be taking the international stage featuring an epic saga of mysterious adventure, riddle solving treasure hunting and heart-pounding action that’s sure to ignite audiences around the world.

Created, written and executive produced by Award-Winning filmmaker Scott A. Capestany, The Rainforest carries quite the adventurous story-line about a group of international explorers that set off into the heart of a mysterious Rainforest in search of an ancient lost civilization that also uncover the truth of an ancient mystical legend that protects is rumored existence.

International locations currently being considered include exotic mountainous parts of Southern China and South East Asian (Borneo) regions including originally proposed lush temperate Rainforest regions of the Pacific Northwest (Canada and WA State).

The story boasts of rich and authentic indigenous tribal legends within the proposed filming locations around the world woven cleverly into a ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’-style treasure hunting and pulsating  cinematic adventure.

Co-Production meetings with international partners from China, Canada, South America, USA the the UK are currently underway whom many will be converging  at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, CA this fall to meet and discuss the project.

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Scott A. Capestany (Creator/Producer) on stage at an early PR event hosted by the S’Klallam Tribe Casino 7 Cedars in Western Washington.

“We are very excited to be expanding the overall scope of this long anticipated film”, said Creator and Producer Scott A. Capestany.  “It’s been quite the journey to see this story evolve over the last few years.  We’ve remaining patient while strategically aligning the project with more partners to enhance the overall production and commercial value with new internationally proposed locations and alliances to compliment the  extraordinary story-line.”The Rainforest BAnner

The story was conceived by Capestany during the filming of his cable TV series, NW Waters, while on a river fishing expedition deep in the heart of one of the largest temperate rainforests in the western hemisphere within Washington State.

His quite engaging “proof of concept” teaser         (VIEW HERE) and well developed ‘pitch deck’ has helped him generate interest from international investors, distributors and business partners from around the world.  The project was selected as a “pitch” finalist for the WA State Filmworks Innovation Lab which eventually was awarded to another project in lieu of WA State lengthy battle to increase it’s Motion Picture Competitiveness program (Film rebates/incentives).  That WA State program has now since been renewed and increased as of 2017.

This hurdle helped motivate him to continue his quest and look elsewhere for funding.  “Creative financing is a delicate and skillful craft that I’ve been fortunate enough to master with this project.  Film incentives are a major part of the financing equation with 21st century filmmaking.  Especially when the project will be filmed overseas and the budget exceeding a certain threshold.”, said Capestany.

With pre-production scheduled to begin in Summer 2018, Capestany’s endeavor is now on the fast track heading into the American Film Market where he will meeting with his team and film industry executives to push the needle closer to production.

Wide shot of actress Cindy Lemos reading the map.

The adventure team assembles in proof of concept filming.

“My ambition and strategy was to spend a few years developing global business partnerships and backing including ironing out the screenplay with the goal to positively impact both the Washington State and international filming locations economy through general interest, commerce and educational awareness of our delicate Rainforests.” he said.

“Connecting our proposed filming locations around the world to their local communities will ultimately enhance these regions exposure to the world where our audiences can lean more about these unique travel destinations and delicate ecosystems while being entertained and engaged with a heart pounding global adventure.”

Committed to supporting WA State companies connected to the industry, Capestany is exploring  partnerships with both Emmy Award winning Seattle Post Audio design company BAD ANIMALS  along with KOERNER CAMERA to help facilitate his projects production needs.   “Our relationships with long standing highly acclaimed regional leaders are important not only for the economics of the Pacific Northwest regional industry but also from the high level of work they do”, Said Capestany.  “Bad Animals has been the premier leader in sound design in the Seattle market having worked with some of the greatest musicians of our generation including  Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Steve Miller and R.E.M.  And they are still winning Emmy’s!”

Scott’s strategic planning paid off by signing on 7 CEDARS CASINO in Sequim, Washington, as both a marketing and creative participant whose tribe’s history and legends will be accurately featured in the main storyline.

Jerry Allen, CEO of the 7 Cedars Casino, said, “We are honored to have this new partnership with Scott. I think this is a compliment to the tribe that Scott wants to do something like this. We are excited to be part of it. There were a lot of choices. When you think about the number of tribes that circle this peninsula and the fact that we were able to put this together, we are very, very flattered.”

Capestany on his Satellite phone.

Capestany on scouting trip with his Satellite phone.

Preserving the delicate ecosystems within the proposed filming locations are a primary objective for Capestany.  His goal of formulating key international  partnerships with leading outdoor and environmental brands whose leaders support sustainability + actively advocate environmental awareness will remain at the forefront throughout each stage of the production.

As creative director at Capestany Films, Scott has cut his teeth like all indie filmmakers whom most began their career operating outside the studio system.  Over the last handful of years, he has delicately cultivated key business relationships within the studio, network, agency and inner circles of the industry both as a reputable journalist and well seasoned producer.

Through these relationships, he has worked as a consultant for many creatives across the board in the entertainment space.  “This business is 100% about relationships. And the secret ingredients that bind these sacred alliances are integrity, transparency and consistency.”, he said.

Interior airfield hangar of cast looking at laptop.

Interior airfield hangar of proof of concept filming.

In this short time span, Capestany has been selected to pitch at multiple Hollywood networks, studios, production companies and some of the most recognizable film market events in the world.

Including both Variety Magazine’s Faith-Based Summit and the American Film Market in Southern California.  The later (AFM), is where he was pulled aside by industry veteran and Producer Guild of American member Anne Marie Gillen to help guide his new endeavors through the quite complicated terrain of Hollywood business and finance.

Gillen was the former COO of Morgan Freeman’s production company – Revelations Entertainment and is a well known industry player in the financing and business realm.

“Scott’s engaging presence on the AFM stage in recent years illustrated to me clearly that he’s a well refined and savvy producer that has a successful future ahead of him.”, Gillen said.

(See Featured story on Anne Marie Gillen HERE).
Scott meeting with Sklallam tribe

The Rainforest is a hero’s journey about a quite sophisticated and intellectually skilled female professor, Dr. Riley Stone, who one day is visited at her college campus by a young girl claiming her great-grandmother’s story of a Rainforest legend should be examined further. After recognizing a very rare necklace the girl shows up wearing, Dr. Stone agrees to set off to her small town located in Western Washington to meet with the woman. Upon her arrival, Dr. Stone learns more about the legend and discovers some extraordinary clues that leads her to assemble a world-class team of explorers to join her for an expedition of discovery and adventure. Soon after the team gets underway, bizarre things begin to affect the expedition, sending them all on a death-defying race of survival and psychological mystery.

Casting for the film will begin in February 2018 with the lead, Dr. Riley Stone, being considered for numerous well-known performers whose intellectual strength and heroic characters have graced current and recent Film + TV productions in Hollywood.

As one of the most fierce and vocal advocates in the independent film sector of the industry for Women in Film, Capestany is strategically positioning  this partnerships with some of Hollywood’s elite leaders in this current fight for equality and diversity in the work place.  “My lead character Dr. Riley Stone is a reflection of some of the strongest and most influential women I have met in this business and throughout the world whom I respect”.  I hope that audiences and particularly women will embrace her.  She’s a very strong, intelligent and dynamic leader. But most importantly she is well-respected among her team.”, Capestany said.  MI

Follow both @MediaIncMag and @CapestanyFilms on Twitter.

 

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2017 Sundance NEXT FEST – Women In Film + Diversity dominate

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Editor In Chief – Scott A. Capestany

August 2017 – Los Angeles, CA

Each year, the Sundance Institute showcases their annual summer four day odyssey of movies + music + food called Next Fest in downtown LA at the iconic Theatre at Ace Hotel.   

With an impressive 2017 line-up of Women In Film projects on-screen including numerous men & women artists of diversity dominating much of the weekends musical performances + awards, audiences got a chance to see seven of the most talked about Sundance films from their Park City Film Festival earlier in the year; Lemon, Gente-Fied, Gook, Bitch, Dina and LA Times.  

Comedians NATASHA LEGGERO (below L) and KATE BERLANT (below R) hosted a few film screening intros keeping sold out crowds each night in stitches.

Kate Berlant – Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute

Natasha Legerro – Photo by Scott A. Capestany / Media Inc Magazine

“It’s a great time to be a woman in this business “, said Seattle/LA based Sundance Alum Writer/Director Lynn Shelton (Glow, Master of None and Fresh off the Boat).  Shelton has screened a few feature films of her own Seattle/LA based films at Sundance over the years. Also with Pacific Northwest ties attending this weekends festivities was Seattle/LA  Casting Director Amy Rene who cast the closing night feature film by Michelle Morgan ‘LA TIMES’.

LA Times

FOX Network’s EMPIRE TV Series creator LEE DANIELS came out to support his friend DEE REES who was on-hand to receive a Vanguard award from the Sundance institute.

Lee Daniels and Dee Rees

Photo By Scott A. Capestany / Media Inc Magazine

Daniels (above), wearing his sunglasses and showcasing his trademark charming sense of humor, joked with photographers on the red carpet prior to the closing night film LA TIMES written and directed by Michelle Morgan (below).

Writer / Director Michelle Morgan of LA Times – Photo By Scott A. Capestany / Media Inc Magazine.

Also arriving at the private alumni and membership party was writer/director DEE REES  (below) who received a Vanguard Award from the Sundance Institute presented by Actress KIM WAYANS who appeared in Rees’ first feature Pariah.

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Dee Rees – Photo By Scott A. Capestany / Media Inc Magazine

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Dee Rees – Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute

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Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute

The Vanguard Award presented by Acura celebrates an emerging artist with creative independence and includes a cash grant and mentorship from industry professionals and Institute staff.  Rees, whose recent film MUDBOUND had its world premier in Park City this past January,  landed the biggest distribution deal at the Sundance Film Festival with a whopping sell to Netflix for $12.5M and a fantastic start for their 2018 Oscar contender campaign.

Rees is an alumnus of the Sundance Institute Screenwriters, Creative Producing and Directors Labs and has been the recipient of the Institute’s Time Warner Fellowship and Annenberg Film Fellowship.  She is the sixth recipient of this award; past recipients include Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station). The Vanguard Award was founded in 2011 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program and its founding director, Michelle Satter.

Sundance Director of Programming Trevor Groth (L), Ava DuVernay and Justin Chon (R) – Photo Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Winner of the NEXT Audience Award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival  – GOOK – written and directed by Justin Chon, screened to packed house over the weekend that was followed by a Q&A with Chon and one of the biggest names among Women In Film in Hollywood; Writer/Director Ava Duvernay, who discussed cinematography and representation.

Closing out the weekends screenings was Marvin Lemus comedic seven part web-series masterpiece GENTE-FIED.

GENTE-FIED was produced by emerging Hollywood disruptor and likely soon to be powerhouse production and branding entity MACRO Ventures, founded and lead by industry veteran CHARLES D. KING.

Charles King – Courtesy of MACRO

Beginning his career in the mailroom at William Morries (Now WME), King cut his teeth literally from the ground up becoming an agent within a few years and making partner before departing a few years ago to form Macro.  King was the first African-American to make partner at what now is WME.  He is most widely known in the industry for his deal-making savvy, integrity and brilliantly crafting his long time friend’s brand and career –TYLER PERRY – into one of the worlds most recognized names and brands in Hollywood.

“I founded MACRO to do what desperately needs to be done for this marketplace: to marry the talent of these gifted storytellers with the sorely needed capital to bring their stories to life, and doing so across traditional and unconventional platforms and distribution channels.” – Charles D. King

MACRO Ventures is a disruptive media company focused on the multicultural market. As a new model entertainment company, their focus is on content creation and engagement for African-American, Latino and Multicultural (ALM) audiences in the Film, Television and Digital spaces.

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Former Imagine Entertainment executive Kim Roth heads up production while industry heavy weights Poppy Hanks, Mike PalankAaliyah Williams and Stacey King round off their executive and branding leadership teams.

Macro’s most recent films include two of Hollywood biggest buzzing films of the last year – FENCES (Starring Denzel Washington and Oscar Award Winning actress Viola Davis) and Netflix’s biggest acquisition at Sundance – MUDBOUND – written and directed by Next Fest Award recipient Dee Rees.

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Macros presence and success at both this years Sundance winter + summer events was evidence that films with empowering multi-cultural story lines that challenge our perspective of the world around us and authentically represent history are what audiences are craving.

Gente-Fied cast & crew showed much gratitude to Macro for paving the way for content that reflects true diverse stories among marginalized groups in our society.

Gente-Fied attendees included the cast and Executive Producer/Actor America Ferrera  along with esteemed actor Edward James Olmos.

Following the screening, Lemus and Ferrera were joined by co-writer Linda Yvette Chavez, acclaimed writer Josefina López (Real Women Have Curves), organizer Nancy Meza (Defend Boyle Heights) that was moderated by Justin Simien (Dear White People) for a very engaging and explosive conversation about the Boyle Heights community and gentrification.

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GENTE-FIED Executive Producer & Actress America Ferrera (mic) – Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute.

GENTE-FIED Co-Writer Lynda Yvette Chavez – Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute

Scott A. Capestany is an Award Winning journalist, film producer, vocal advocate and supporter of the Environment + Women In film + Diversity and equality within the entertainment space.  

His feature film project THE RAINFOREST is now currently in development.

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Scott A. Capestany – Creator and Producer of THE RAINFOREST

Follow them on Twitter: Sundance, Macro, Gente-fied, Mudbound

Photos courtesy of Sundance Institute +  Media Inc Magazine 

 

 

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Quentin Tarantino kicks off LA’s Sundance NEXT FEST in style!

The 2017 Sundance Institute NEXT FEST – A four day event filled with movies, music and shenanigans  –  kicked off tonight at the iconic Theatre Ace Hotel  in Downtown LA to a sold out packed house screening of Academy Award winning writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s 25th anniversary cult classic – Reservoir Dogs in stunning preserved 35mm.

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Tarantino, who received the institute’s Vanguard Leadership Award ignited the crowd with his brief speech before the screening of his film.  “Let me actually give a shout out to Los Angeles!” said Tarantino that drew an explosive applause.  “This is my first official Resevoir Dogs big deal anniversary thing in LA”.

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Above John Cooper (L) and Trevor Groth (R)

Additional stars from the film in attendance included TIM ROTH, MICHAEL MADSEN (below hat) and KIRK BALTZ. Also seen on the red carpet horsing around was multiple critics choice award and Emmy nominee WALTON GOGGINS (below) who has appeared in multiple Tarantino films (The Hateful Eight and Djanjo Unchained).

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Tim Roth (Below)

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Stunt woman ZOE BELL (below), who has appeared in many Tarantino movies also was in attendance. #WomenInFilm

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Sundance NEXT FEST continues through Sunday with some great indie movies and music.

Tickets can be purchased @ sundance.org/next

All photos are copyrighted by the Sundance Institute – Photographers: Ryan Kobane and Nick Sammons 

 

 

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3rd Annual Wonder Women Tech + Diversity Conference – Tech, Stem & Film leaders + Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.

The 2017 Wonder Women Tech + Diversity inclusion conference kicked off Friday at the Long Beach Convention Center featuring an impressive array of women leaders within the Women in Film + Women In Tech + Women In Stem (STEAM now) and Women In Business space.  Panelist and guests include senior recruiters from PIXAR and ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) plus VIP appearance on Sunday Aug 20th of the Rev. Jessie Jackson, Sr.

Founded by visionary and global inequality advocate Lisa Mae Brunson,  this conference is a must attend for those who want to be apart of the extraordinary changes that Brunson and her team are igniting into reality – EQUALITY!

Check our Brunson’s featured story here in EBONY (Appearing first Aug 12th in EBONY By Lynne D. Johnson

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Lynne D. Johnson

Here’s the line-up on this weekends events!

DAY 1:  INNOVATE (at time of publication – After session only)

2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
MC: Nadia Davari, Lawyer, Entertainment and Technology

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2:25 PM – 2:35 PM
“Innovation for Everyone”
— Arabian Prince, Founding Member, NWA, Technologist, Rapper, iNov8 Next

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3:10 PM – 3:20 PM
“The Diet Pill Syndrome with D&I in Tech Companies”
— Seema Gururaj, Founder & CEO, Square Circle Inc.

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3:25 PM – 3:35 PM
“Issa Story”: The Social Phenomenon of Shared Experiences”
— Sabine Quetant, Director of Marketing, Blavity

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3:35 PM – 3:45 PM
“Accessibility Consciousness for Deaf and Hard of Hearing”
— Leah Katz Hernandez, Speaker and Author, West Wing Receptionist, The White House

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3:55 PM – 4:05 PM
“Optimizing your Badassery”
— Cameron (Cam) Kashani, “godmother of Silicon beach”, Founder, COACCEL: The Human Accelerator

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4:10 PM – 4:20 PM
“What’s Next After Manufacturing Automation”
— Anna- Katrina Shedletsky, Founder & CEO, Instrumental Inc.

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4:55 PM – 5:05 PM
“Unmanned Air Vehicle Cyber Security”
— Mahasa Zahirnia, Product Owner, Northrop Grumman Corporation

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5:35 PM – 5:45 PM
CLOSING REMARKS

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6:30-8:30pm –  WWT VIP Mixer – Sponsored by WEWORK

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The Wonder Women Tech + Diversity Conference is a Signature 3-day conference with an Expo, Startup Alley, keynotes, panel discussions, Mommy Lounge with daycare services and more!

DAY 2 = EMPOWER

Empower Your Community | Diversity Career Fair Presented by Amazon — August 19th, 2017: This is an interactive Career Fair (10 am – 4 pm) geared towards diversifying the STEAM workforce, featuring recruiting booths, career development workshops, headshot booths, and more! WWT is committed to empowering recruiters and attendees to diversify their workforce in real-time.

Also experience  the Science Fair, a Junior Innovation Camp for youth ages 13-18 and STEAM including camps for seniors 65+ and special services and attendance pricing for people with disabilities, deaf and hard of hearing.

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Day 3 = IGNITE

Ignite Your Passion — August 20th, 2017: Learn from 15 inspiring speakers included REV. JESSE JACKSON, SR. to discuss purpose-driven social innovations in technology and story-telling on the main stage in a TED-talk style format.

For a full line-up of events visit WWT

Tickets can be purchased HERE

Be sure to follow @MissLisaMae + @Wonderwomentech on Twitter for LIVE updates throughout the weekend.

Use the hashtags #WeAreChangemakers #WWT2017

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LA’s First Environmental Film Festival – July 29, 2017

KCETLink Media Group, the national independent broadcast and digital media network, has announced that its two services, KCET public television in Los Angeles and independent satellite network Link TV nationwide, will launch the first film festival in Los Angeles dedicated entirely to environmental issues called the EARTH FOCUS ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL. Partnering closely on the event is the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF), which for over 25 years has been the world’s premier showcase of environmentally-themed films.

In its debut outing, the EARTH FOCUS ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL will take place Sat., July 29 from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Hollywood’s iconic Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028) in partnership with American Cinematheque and sponsors that include Green Wish, a grassroots nonprofit that helps other local nonprofit green organizations fund projects for their communities, and Deadline.com, the media sponsor for the festival. The free event is open to the public featuring five additional acclaimed films tackling the most important and relevant global environmental issues today. Celebrity environmental activists including filmmaker Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon A Time, Murder in the First, Longmire), Ed Begley Jr. (Ghostbusters, St. Elsewhere, Pineapple Express), Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul) and Sharon Lawrence (Shameless, Queen Sugar, NYPD Blue) will introduce each film that will be followed by post-screening dialogues with the filmmakers. Free general admission tickets are available starting today at KCET.org/earthfocus.

“With our commitment to bringing environmental conservation issues to the forefront for audiences on multiple platforms through our EARTH FOCUS franchise, we are proud to offer a free festival as a resource for enlightenment and education through powerful storytelling,” said Michael Riley, President and CEO of KCETLink Media Group. “In partnership with DCEFF, we’ve been able to curate the finest films that cover a range of issues impacting the environment today. We hope these films can encourage our community here in Southern California to play a part in helping save our planet for tomorrow.”

The EARTH FOCUS ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL is a full day event that will also showcase green organizations in Los Angeles including Heal The Bay, River LA, LA Conservation Corps and Sierra Club among others, with booths set up on the plaza of the Egyptian Theatre offering important environmental educational information to attendees. More information on The Egyptian Theatre and the American Cinematheque can be found at www.americancinematheque.com.

Introduction by actor/filmmaker Raphael Sbarge (Green Wish Founder) / Q&A with TBD. Moderated by Kim Spencer (Link TV Co-Founder).

Not just a film, but the beginning of a movement seeking to encourage local communities around the world to change the way they live for the sake of our planet.

Each of the films included in the film festival will be augmented by original content published on KCET and Link TV’s web sites at kcet.org/earthfocus and linktv.org/earthfocus, on related topics ranging from environmental justice to climate activism to California’s drought.  Contributors will include veteran environmental journalists and other experts. Additionally, visitors to the websites will be treated to multimedia features, environmental-related discussion boards and social media videos as well as trailers to the films being featured.

The EARTH FOCUS ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL is part of KCET’s “Summer of the Environment,” which offers a robust library of content on multiple platforms intended to ignite compassion and action for helping to save and heal the planet.  Additional content on KCET and Link TV that focuses on environmental challenges and solutions include:

The schedule (subject to change) is as follows:

10 a.m.: Opening event in Egyptian Theatre plaza with booths from organizations Heal The Bay, River LA and Sierra Clubamong others.

10:30 a.m.: “Water & Power: A California Heist” (1 hr. 26 min.)

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Introduction by actor Ed Begley Jr. (Green Wish Founding Member) / Q&A with Director Marina Zenovich (Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired). Moderated by Maryanne Culpepper (Executive Director, DCEFF).

From National Geographic Documentary Films, directed by Emmy® award-winner Zenovich and executive produced by Academy Award® winner Alex Gibney and Jigsaw Productions, the film unfolds like a real-life version of the 1974 film noir “Chinatown,” uncovering the ruthless exploits of California’s notorious water barons, who profit off the state’s resources while everyday citizens endure a debilitating water crisis.

1:30 p.m.: “RISE: Sacred Water – Standing Rock (Part 1)” followed by “RISE: Poisoned River” (Total Running Time 1 hr. 34 min.)

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Introduction by actor/filmmaker Patrick Fabian (Friend of Green Wish) / Q&A with Director Michelle Latimer (Alias, Choke). Moderated by Chris Clarke (KCET contributor, California Desert Program Manager with the National Parks Conservation Association).

“Sacred Water” examines the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation’s resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline, which became worldwide news as the largest gathering of indigenous people in more than a century who came together to protect the area’s water. While “Poisoned River” follows Brazil’s Krenak People who are struggling to survive in the wake of a massive toxic spill that has contaminated their drinking water, hunting grounds and culture.

4:30 p.m.: “Tomorrow” (Total Running Time 2 hours)

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Introduction by actor/filmmaker Raphael Sbarge (Green Wish Founder) / Q&A with TBD. Moderated by Kim Spencer (Link TV Co-Founder).

Not just a film, but the beginning of a movement seeking to encourage local communities around the world to change the way they live for the sake of our planet.

7:30 p.m.: “The Age of Consequences” (1 hr. 20 min.)

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Introduction by actress Sharon Lawrence  (Green Wish Founding Member) / Q&A with Director Jared P. Scott (Requiem for the American Dream). Moderated by Deadline.com Senior Editor Dominic Patten.

This documentary film investigates the impact of climate change on increased resource scarcity, migration and conflict through the lens of national security and global stability. Interviews with distinguished admirals, generals and military veterans reveal how climate change stressors –water and food shortages, drought, extreme weather and sea level rise – function as catalysts for conflict in volatile parts of the world.

Each of the films included in the film festival will be augmented by original content published on KCET and Link TV’s web sites at kcet.org/earthfocus and linktv.org/earthfocus, on related topics ranging from environmental justice to climate activism to California’s drought.  Contributors will include veteran environmental journalists and other experts. Additionally, visitors to the websites will be treated to multimedia features, environmental-related discussion boards and social media videos as well as trailers to the films being featured.

The EARTH FOCUS ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL is part of KCET’s “Summer of the Environment,” which offers a robust library of content on multiple platforms intended to ignite compassion and action for helping to save and heal the planet.  Additional content on KCET and Link TV that focuses on environmental challenges and solutions include:

EARTH FOCUS PRESENTS documentary film series Weds., at 10 p.m. The lineup includes: “The 11th Hour” (7/5), “The Cove” (7/12), “Seeds of Time” (7/19), “A Fierce Green Fire” (7/26), “Tapped” (8/2), “Breath of Life” (8/9), “The City Dark”(8/16) and “We The People 2.0” (8/23)

Three KCET SOCAL CONNECTED environmental specials (7/11, 7/18 and 7/25 at 8 p.m.) focus on such issues as farming, recycling, climate change, environmental businesses and more.

LOST LA: DESCANSO GARDENS (7/18) A documentary explores the history of one of Southern California’s most beloved public gardens. From its pre-colonial origins as an oak woodland to its contemporary role as a living museum, the film examines how the Descanso Gardens reflect the social, political, and cultural evolution of Los Angeles.

ARTBOUND PRESENTS STUDIO A (August airdate TBD) Featuring acclaimed artists with important environmental causes including Low Leaf and Aloe Blacc.

EARTH FOCUS Dakota Pipeline Mapping project in partnership with ALMA and Friends, features interactive maps that focus on high-stakes environmental changes in the areas surrounding the Missouri Watershed, namely the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

CALIFORNIA COASTAL TRAIL, an expansive online guide to the California Coastal Trail; exploring its past, its present, and its future through a series of historical narratives, camping and hiking guides, as well as articles about important cultural points of interest along the Trail.

Join the conversation on social media using #EarthFocus, #KCETgreen and #DCEFF.

ABOUT KCETLINK MEDIA GROUP

KCETLink Media Group is a national independent, nonprofit, digital and broadcast network that provides high-quality, culturally diverse programming designed to engage the public in innovative, entertaining and transformative ways. With a commitment to independent perspectives, smart global entertainment, local communities, and opportunities for engagement and social action, KCETLink depicts people and the world through a lens unavailable elsewhere in U.S. media. A viewer-supported 501(c)(3) organization, KCETLink content is distributed nationally via satellite on Link TV – DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410 – and on KCET in Southern and Central California via broadcast and cable, as well as through various digital delivery systems. For additional information about KCET and Link TV productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org or linktv.org. Select programming from KCET and Link TV is also available for streaming on Hulu, Apple TV and Roku platforms.

ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL

The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) is the world’s premier showcase of environmentally themed films. Since 1993 our mission has been to celebrate Earth and inspire understanding and stewardship of the environment through the power of film.

Each March in Washington, D.C., we present 100+ films to audiences of more than 30,000. Filmmaker and topical discussions are an important part of our events, which happen at museums, embassies, libraries, universities and local theaters throughout the city. We also present a year-round screening series and community events.

Many of our screenings are free, and our Washington, DC location offers the unique opportunity for films and filmmakers to reach national and international lawmakers and decision-makers. Our impact continues to grow both in DC and beyond.

DCEFF is the largest green film festival in the world; the longest-running in the United States.

To learn more, visit dceff.org.

Follow #DCEFF: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival – TOP European Fall Festival pick!

 

FALL 2017- International Film Festival Highlight!

Entering it’s 6th year (Oct 26 – Nov 4, 2017) , the EVOLUTION! MALLORCA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (EMIFF) is located just off the coast of Spain on the tiny island of Mallorca in the culturally rich town center of Palma.   With flights reasonable from  LAX/NYC depending on when you book, this Fall festival is packed with great prizes, industry panels, impressive European press coverage and most of all the chance to have your film screened at one of the largest and most historical Theater in all of Spain – Teatro Principal!

The EMIFF mission is to take the festival goer on a journey without a suitcase; discover new cultures, countries, tribes, people, traditions, relationships around the world.  They even offer a ‘Films for Kids’ showcase dedicated to children ages 6-12 which includes a wonderful combination of animation, stop motion and narrative short films.

Each year, the EMIFF attracts over 3000 attendees from over 32 countries worldwide. In conjunction with its sister-screening event in Los Angeles; SEE THE WINNERS, a special selection of winning films screened at the Los Angeles Film School in the heart of Hollywood, EMIFF is becoming an international launching pad for promising new talent in all film genres.

We got a chance to catch up with Festival Founder and Director SANDRA  SEELING LIPSKI at the Hollywood Roosevelt in LA to talk more about her endeavor.

MEDIA INC:  Tell us more about the Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival and its place on the film festival circuit.

SANDRA: Our 6th edition of EMIFF will run for 10 days; October 26th – November 4th, 2017.  We are one of the fastest growing and exciting film festivals in Europe with a clear mission to BRIDGE CULTURES.  Known as THE hub for networking, EMIFF brings together the brightest local and international minds in cinema in an incredibly intimate and breathtakingly gorgeous setting.  The festival regularly attracts A-list talent including Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049, War Dogs), Emma Suarez (Julieta by Pedro Almodóvar), and last year’s honoree, Danny DeVito to name a few. In 2013 a local radio station called us the Mediterranean Sundance, a claim we are proud to receive and keep up, whilst championing European and international independent film.

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MI: What kind of experience can filmmakers and attendees expect when participating?

SANDRA: Attendees can expect an incredibly diverse audience, revealing Q&A’s, fascinating talk panels and sensational networking parties as well as Island excursions where filmmakers get to experience the most breathtaking locations this Mediterranean gem has to offer.

The festival program is curated to showcase a cultural diverse, raw and provocative mix of feature films, short films, documentaries, music videos, film’s for kids, experimental films and a brand new Virtual Reality category. In addition to our primary program topic “Bridging Cultures”, EMIFF highlights three additional sections; Made in Baleares; films by local filmmakers. Evolution Edge; films by first or second time directors with a distinct and avant-garde vision and Wake Up Europe; films and documentaries highlighting stories about the current situation in and around Europe.

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MI:  Share more about the festivals beautiful island of Mallorca and where your events take place.

SANDRA: To ensure festival-goers get a taste of the extravagant beauty, rich culture and exciting film scene the island has to offer, EMIFF collaborates with the best and most beautiful venues. Our Opening Night Gala takes place in Palma’s opera house, build in 1680, this building exudes glamour and a very special Spanish aristocratic chic, it’s the perfect spot to kick off this 10-day event. The majority of the programmed films, screens at the only local independent cinema in Mallorca sustained 100% by a non-profit organization run by local cinema enthusiasts; Cineciutat. We also collaborate with the local Modern Museum Es Baluard where we screen our Art & Cinema films with a clear focus on art, artists and the art world. Our beloved breakfast talks; “Café con Cine” take place at the stunning concept store Rialto Living in the heart of Palma, inviting filmmakers to network and shop for beautiful gifts and souvenirs. TheVRand, a local VR company sponsors our Virtual Reality screenings at their brand new VR location called The Garage. Last but not least we are the only Film Festival with our own true Drive in Cinema, Port Adriano a yacht club in the South/West of the Island sponsors this exclusive two-night event.

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MI:  What is your process for submissions?

Our submissions are open on all major submission platforms including; Filmfreeway, Withoutabox etc. beginning in January each year and have our final two deadlines in mid summer (July/Aug).

Submission categories include: Feature Film, Short Film, Documentary Short and feature, animation and experimental short, films for Kids, Music Video, Student Films, VR content and our Screenplay competition. We know submissions fees can be a drag for indie filmmakers, so we encourage them to follow us on social media to be sure to catch discount codes, which are posted regularly to help filmmakers submit their projects.

Media Inc. Magazine readers and online engagers can use the code: “Mediainc” for a special discount in 2018!

MI:  Does your festival offer any special panels and VIP guests? How long does your festival last?

SANDRA: The EMIFF lasts for 10 days. Our professional talk panels are called “Producers Club”, past professional panelists include; Danny DeVito, Jake DeVito, David Matamoros (Zentropa), Geraldine Gonard (Imagina International Sales), Linus Andersson & Amanda Bjork (Kung Fury), Josh Blau (Netflix), Sarah Elena Schwerzmann (ARTE) etc. This year we are adding a new section called “Pitching” where filmmakers/writers can pitch their movie and TV-series ideas to European network executives, financiers and distributors. We focus on inviting panelists who are looking to discover the next the Xavier Dolan, Sharon Horgan or David Benioff.  The panels are designed to inform about current topics such as; Pushing through the barriers of co-production, Independent financing, how to start? How to navigate the deep waters of distribution? Etc.

MI: What are you most proud of over the years with your creation?

SANDRA: My team and I are most proud about finding the tenacity to keep growing the festival at a steady pace every year, despite the difficulties we had to face. Together we are proud to have created an event for filmmakers from all around the world, all cultures, all religions all ways of life, to come together and share their stories. We have created a unique platform on this beautiful Mediterranean island for independent filmmakers to present their projects to international industry professionals with a goal to create networking and new business opportunities.

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Sandra Seeling Lipski (1983) born in Berlin and raised in Mallorca Spain, is the founder and director of the Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival (EMIFF), located in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. She is an accomplished actress with notable credits such as CSI NY, Borat and Jane the Virgin. Sandra splits her time between Mallorca and Los Angeles. After having produced, directed and acted in several award winning short films, Sandra is currently preparing the 6th edition of EMIFF and in development of her first feature film as a producer and actress. Sandra holds an AA in dramatic arts from the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York City (2004) and graduated from the Los Angeles Film School with a degree in Filmmaking (2011). Sandra has recently been invited to speak on a panel organized by the SCL (Society of Composers and Lyricists) together with the AFI (American Film Institute) and was a member of the 2017 Mammoth Lakes Film Festival short film jury.

Follow SANDRA and EMIFF on Twitter

Follow EMIFF on Instagram

 

 

Marc Cartwright

MARC Cartwright – LA’s Premier Headshot Photographer and Award Winning Filmmaker

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Editor In Chief Scott A. Capestany – Photo By Marc Cartwright

With headshots remaining the most important and valued tool for the performing artist and actor, Media Inc Magazine got a chance to sit down with one of Los Angeles most reputable and talented photographer whose new career path now also involves filmmaking.

MARC CARTWRIGHT has been working in the entertainment business since the 90s starting off as an actor in New York City while attending NYU majoring in Mass Media + Human Behavior.  Fascinated more with what was going on behind the camera during his work on TV/Film sets as a performer, Marc enrolled in a photography course that ignited his desire to pursue the craft full-time.

Marc soon moved to LA in 1998 and built a photography client list that now includes Emmy+Golden Globe nominees Lou Diamond Philips and Ariana Grande as well as  Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden.   His highly sought after photography sessions  now book out many weeks in advance, so  we were lucky to catch up with him for our own photo shoot and interview at his high-rise studio overlooking the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Q:  What brought you to LA?

Marc Cartwright: I moved  our to LA in 1998 to pursue acting and my photography.   After arriving I met a friend that introduced me to a publicist that quickly referred me to new clients that helped expand by business.

Q:  Tell us about how the digital revolution impacted your business.

MC:  Obviously it makes it cheaper and much quicker regarding turn around and sharing images immediately with clients.  But I’m really glad I learned the craft on film because I feel that people who learned this way take more time with images.   You really had to develop your eye before the shutter was snapping.  I truly enjoy the process and working with clients getting them what they want and capturing them at their best moments for the camera more than the efficiency and technological advances of the craft. 

Q: Tell us about the process of working with you and coming in for some headshots.

A:  The idea is that I encourage my clients to have an idea as to where they want to go as actor in the industry prior to coming in.  And if they don’t quite yet know and they are new to the business, I ask them to think about that.   Prior to booking with me,  I email  out a series of questions asking them to prep with their wardrobe reflecting these ideas that will allow me to help with the creative visual telling component of the session.  Before we get started I like to talk with my clients to get a sense of their personality. Some people like to be coached harder, the tough love kind of thing and others come in and know exactly what they want and how to react to the camera.   Although photography is obviously visual, it truly is a mental medium.  For instance, when you look at a photo and the lighting, wardrobe, etc. all seems perfect but the feeling isn’t there, we’re not going to like the photograph.  You really want to capture that cerebral connection or it will seem forced. This approach I use also works well at reducing any nervousness and apprehension with the client knowing a bit more about who they are and how they want to be photographed.  

Q: Tell us about your recent transition into cinematography and Filmmaking.  We hear you won some recent awards to!

A:  GLASS CABIN FILMS is my production company that we started in 2015 with my friend Baker Chase Powell.  After I came on-board a web-series as a cinematographer and producer, he and I shared a number of interests in filmmaking.  Then it developed into a partnership with him where we have now since produced three short films all in the horror psychological thriller genre films.

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Baker Chase Powell (L) and Marc Cartwright at the 2017 Twister Alley Film Festival in Oklahoma City 2017

With our film VEXED currently on tour and getting selected by many film festivals as we speak, we just won BEST FILM and BEST ACTOR at the Twister Alley Film festival in Oklahoma.  The film was also1 of 15 films screened at the UCLAx Entertainment Studies program in West Hollywood where I”m currently taking a course in producing this year.  We also won best horror thriller short at the NORTH HOLLYWOOD CINEFEST this year as well.  

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Marc Cartwright grew up in New York on Long Island’s East End. Partially raised by his grandparents who were avid fans of Hollywood classics, he developed a passion for film.   In 2008 Marc opened Marc Cartwright Photography which developed into a successful business of photographing established and up and coming talent in Film and Television.  In 2013, Marc was asked to co-produce and be the director of photography on various projects which cemented his love of film making and created a deeper desire to explore the art.

As Creative Director of Glass Cabin Films, Marc oversees the identity and vision of the company.

Marc can be booked and his work can all be viewed via his WEBSITE Follow him on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM. 

BAKER CHASE POWELL and GLASS CABIN FILMS 

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Tess Martin to screen new animated film “Ginevra” at Bellevue Arts Museum!

Courtesy of Smarthouse Creative

A section of Tess Martin’s work, including Ginevra, will be on view at Bellevue Arts Museum June 30 – October 22, 2017. Martin has deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, and is the founder of Haptic Animation Amplifier, a non-profit that helps support & distribute animation from the region.

Bellevue Arts Museum will be showcasing an installation of work by independent animator Tess Martin, featuring her new stop-motion animated film Ginevra. Alongside the film presentation will be exhibited several physical paper cut-outs from the film. This presentation will be the first public screening of Ginevra.

Tess

Martin is an independent Northwest animator who works with cut-outs, ink, paint, sand, or objects. Her films have displayed at galleries and festivals worldwide. The exhibition will be on view concurrently with Cut Up/Cut Out, an exhibition from the Bedford Gallery in California of national and international artists who explore the captivating methods of decorative piercing and cutting. The two exhibitions both highlight the incredible versatility of this ancient method of art-making and the diverse ways it is being employed by contemporary makers.

Based on Percy Shelley’s Poem The Dirge (itself based on the Florentine urban legend of Ginevra degli Almieri, who is rumored to have woken up a full day after her supposed death), Ginevra tells the tale of a woman mourning the murder of her daughter, only to find that the death is not quite the ending that she expected. Though technically unfinished upon Shelley’s untimely death, his wife Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (author of Frankenstein) published the last completed segment of the poem in 1824, allowing the mysteries of its meaning and the ambiguities of an untold ending to live on in the public consciousness.

This film is part of a series of short animations based on poetry titled Cinematic Campfire Poetry, and was supported by the IFP Screen Forward Lab and produced by Monticello Park Productions. Director Tess Martin wrote the film to fit the poem, and animated it using paper cut-outs on a multi-plane animation stand, one frame at a time.
Tess Martin: Ginevra is organized by Bellevue Arts Museum and curated by Lucile Chich and Benedict Heywood.
ABOUT TESS MARTIN
Tess Martin is an independent animator who works with cut-outs, ink, paint, sand or objects. She has received grants and residencies in support of her films, which have displayed at galleries and festivals worldwide. She also creates animations for musicians, other filmmakers, or initiatives like Ted-Ed. Tess runs and moderates the monthly Manifest Animation Show & Tell events in Rotterdam, where she is based, and is the director of Haptic Animation Amplifier, a non-profit that helps support & distribute animation from the Pacific Northwest of the USA.
ABOUT BELLEVUE ARTS MUSEUM
Bellevue Arts Museum is a leading destination in the Pacific Northwest to experience art, craft, and design. BAM engages the community through exhibitions, programs, and publications, featuring regional, national, and international artists.