All posts by Scott A. Capestany

GAPF BEST1

The 2017 Great American PitchFest June 23-25 | Announces Line-up + Schedule!

One of the most highly anticipated Hollywood screenwriting events is returning this year – The 2017 Great American Pitch Fest at the Los Angels Marriot Burbank Airport location June 23-25, 2017.

Entering their 14th year, this epic screenwriter event brings together some of the industries TOP production companies, agents, managers, financiers and decision makers looking to option, buy and/or hire as writers.  Nearly 2,000 writers travel from around the world each year to participate in ScriptFest and the Great American PitchFest which also have events held in Canada and the UK. The upcoming event in Los Angeles is the largest event of its kind, specifically for screenwriters, and anyone can attend.

ScriptFest and the Great American PitchFest were created by writers for writers.  The event started in Canada with the first Great Canadian PitchFest in 2003.  Fourteen years later, the event has expanded to Los Angeles, California and London, England.  The event has helped thousands of writers from around the globe to connect with industry decision makers.

ScriptFest, the ScriptFest Master Series, and the Great American PitchFest were started as a way to help other writers move their careers forward, and make ‘finding the door’ just a little bit easier.  Writers who have attended the event have been hired for writing assignments, signed with agents or managers and have had their screenplays optioned.  In a business that is defined primarily through the relationships creatives have with one another, thousands of writers that have attended one of their events  have helped launch their careers.

MEDIA INC MAGAZINE this year is honored to be a media sponsor by continuing  their global support of indie filmmaking and creatives in the industry.

We got a chance to catch up with the leadership team of SIGNE OLYNYK (Co-Founder) and BOB SCHULTZ (President) to share with us  more about their upcoming event.

MEDIA INC MAGAZINE:  Tell us about GAPF and why it’s been such a big draw for screen writers over the years?

Bob: When Signe started the event 14 years ago in Canada (I joined the organization with the first American event), she already had the magic formula: We are writers ourselves, so any questions about what we should do or offer should always be seen through that prism. We believe in the importance of writing. And we always remember that improving the quality of spec screenwriting overall will result in more opportunities for spec screenwriters individually. We offer the best classes, the best panels, the most pitching opportunities. We are grateful to all the writers who have come to our event over the years. We couldn’t do it without them.

MI:  How do screenwriters prepare for this event?  What should they bring? 

We interview all of our executives about what types of material they are looking for, whether a writer needs an agent or manager to approach them, stars or directors they have relationships with, advice for new writers – all sorts of questions like that.  And then we publish this information on our website, and as a booklet that is distributed at the event. We try to do this research for our writers so they can really pinpoint who is the best fit for their various projects, and that way, they can hone their pitches to make sure they are pitching their work to the executive who is the best fit.  If anyone wants to see what these various companies are looking for, they just need to click on the various companies who are attending, and read their profiles. 

As far as what a writer needs to bring to the event, I recommend that they have two hard copies of their script available to them at all times – one on them, and one in an easily accessible place, such as a car or hotel room.  The reason I suggest this is because if an execs requests a copy of the script and prefers a hard copy, it’s great if you are able to hand it to them on the spot.  It shows you are ready, serious, and that you have it ready to go.  It is not uncommon to see execs reading hard copies of scripts during the break. 

Now, most execs tend to prefer an electronic copy.  But if one asks for a hard copy, it’s great to be able to have one available right away to give to them.  I also recommend having a USB drive with you at all times with the latest versions of your script so you can send a copy electronically, immediately following the meeting.

The other thing that I recommend is a one-sheet, which is essentially a flyer for your script – a visual representation of your story.  They need to have your name, contact information, title, tagline, and a brief logline or synopsis.  They aren’t essential, but they are a very helpful selling tool.  And once the exec goes back to the office, it can assist them with re-pitching it to others who they work with. I also recommend bringing mints, bottled water, comfortable shoes to wear, and business cards.

Companies attending in 2017 HERE!

Q:  Do writers and attendees need to have a literary agent to pitch the executives?

A very successful strategy that many of our writers have used to get an agent or manager at the event is to use the morning pitchfest to meet with production companies and distributors.  Once they have a number of script requests, they can then use the afternoon to meet with the agents and managers.  In those meetings, they can talk about the various script requests, and how they now need an agent or manager to send those script requests out. 

When a writer is pitching an agent or manager, they want to pitch differently than if they are pitching to a production company.  Production companies will want to know the log-line, and will be thinking about the story, budget, packaging it with talent, directors, and other production details.  But an agent or manager will be thinking about those things AND whether they can represent you and your script.  They want to know that you can write to deadline, that you generate a lot of excellent material, that you are a solid writer, that you pitch well, are good in a room, and that you can hustle and get your script out there.  A great writer will tailor their pitch so that it suits the person they are pitching, and fits with what they are looking for.

MI: Tell us about the panels and your special guests this year. 

We are thrilled to be offering classes to help writers improve their creativity, their characters, and their story arcs. We have plenty of pitch classes and classes on writers’ legal rights and strategies for them to market themselves.

 And, of course, we are honored to have working screenwriters join us. Steve Oedekerk (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Bruce Almighty, Kung Pow: Enter The Fist) will be there to talk about his career in comedy and animation, and Oscar Winner Dustin Lance Black will be joining us as well.  

CLASSES + GUESTS + PANELS HERE!

MI:  You also have a LONDON GAPF.  Can you tell us about that event and how it works.

The Great British PitchFest is part of the London Screenwriters’ Festival. The market for screenplays – the film industry as a whole, really – is a global phenomenon. Our mission to help writers means ALL writers. Not just American writers, and not just writers of a certain age or financial status. Our outreach includes scholarships to high school writers from low-income areas, special rates for veterans. We have taught screenwriting all over the world: The USA, Canada, Sweden, Romania… the list goes on.

The GAFP can be followed on TWITTER and IG while passes can be purchased at their website www.scriptfest.com

 

The Big Swim

SHORT FILM SPOTLIGHT – Writer/Director Kat Green’s ‘THE BIG SWIM’

The Big Swim presentation copyWe recently got a chance to sit down with LA based writer, director and singer/songwriter KAT GREEN at the Hollywood Roosevelt to talk about her extraordinary and quite brave journey in the making of her first short film THE BIG SWIM.

Screening at the 2017 IFS Independent Film Festival this weekend on May 7, 2017 @ 7:15pm at the Beverly Hills Music Hall,  the film is about a young women Rachel (Kimberly Leemans) who finds out she might have terminal breast cancer and sets our on an adventure to Cozumel Mexico to face her fears of swimming with sharks and inevidably learning that sharks are not as frightening as falling in love.

After vacationing in Cozumel Mexico, Green was inspired by how beautiful and relatively cheap shooting what would become her first film as writer/director, could be.  Having rallied up a group of mostly unknowns to her in the business with the exception of one dear friend JARED DAY who helped with casting and also appeared in the film as an actor, Kat set out to produce a film that not only offered  an impressive and stunning underwater filming sequence using real live wild sharks, no stunt people or FX, but also did a great job telling an engaging message of hope and courage.

Q: Congrat’s on your success your film The Big Swim! What inspired you to write this story?

A: Well, I knew I wanted to make a romance because that’s what I”m naturally connected to, but I wanted to not just make a fluffy love story but rather make a movie that had something to say.  Something that was inspirational, that had a message and something unique and close to me — fear of sharks and the topic of breast cancer woven together.   I’ve always had a fear of the critters in the ocean and JAWS was one of my favorite movies that scared the heck out of me as a little girl.  I’ve also had a many friends effected by breast cancer over the years and a dear friend in particular that lost her mother to the disease seemed to resonate with me when developing this story.

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Actress Kimberly Leemans as RACHEL on location in Cozumel, Mexico

Q: Tell us about the casting process.

A:  I asked a dear friend of mine JARED DAY, who also is talented actor (NCIS: New Orleans), to help me cast the film.  We specifically wanted to find our lead actors that both had diving experience.  We read many great actors, but when KIMBERLY LEEMANS (Walking Dead) came in, Jared really liked how she might be a great fit for the part.  When I saw her demo reel she really was a very talented woman and could be a great fit for the lead part. Ironically, she told us that diving with sharks was on her bucket list which also resonated with the actual story.  After we signed Kimberly, we proceeded to build the rest of the cast around her.  Originally the male lead of Luca we were looking for was Mexican and had to have dive experience.  But we didn’t have much luck in LA merging those two and had to reach out to the pool in Mexico City.  But we just didn’t like what we saw in those casting tapes.   Then  Kimberly actually recommend her boyfriend FALK HANTSCHEL who actually was a real life certified dive master and not to mention an incredible actor (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and The Flash)   So it happened to work out just right casting both these amazing actors.

Q: You filmed most of the film on location in Mexico. What was your biggest challenge you faced?

A: With filming in Cozumel, we knew we needed to hire someone on the ground that would be out condiut with gear rental understands the filmmaking logistics with permits, etc. , customs and language.  So we found someone that fit the bill, but sadly ended up going MIA before shooting began. So we quickly had to spring into action and become very creative on how we were going to do all this.  We winded up bringing all our gear in multiple suitcases down to film.  In fact, we had to get much of the crew business class seats because they could bring more bags without additional baggage fees. Speaking of  keeping the challenges under control, we really were blessed to have producer MEGAN WOEPPLE on our team.  She truly was one of the production teams biggest assets.  Not only has she been dive certified since she was 12, but she was a total pro with everything and a brilliant problem solver.     

Q: What kind of camera did you shoot the film on?

A:  Because we needed to be very moblie and low profile, we shot on the A7S Mark ii camera.  Our DP FIORELLA OCCHIPINTI was brought onto the project because her impressive work particularly he awesome ‘run and gun’ style of shooting.  

Q:  What’s the message you are in hopes the audience will walk away with after watching your film.

A:  Don’t wait until it’s too late to live your life–BE BRAVE! Life is about love, relationships and sometimes facing the fear to press on after heartbreaking life experiences.   Don’t be afraid to fall in love.

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KAT GREEN also wrote and performed the films song BREATHE ME IN. Her music can be heard HERE

She also partnered with both the NATIONAL BREAST FOUNDATION and SHARK STEWARDS by donating proceeds from the film to these charities.

She can be found on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK

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SIFF2017 Banner best

Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) announces 2017 Line-up!

SEATTLE — May 3, 2017 — SIFF Press

The Seattle International Film Festival, the largest and most highly attended festival in the United States, announced today the complete lineup of films, guests, and events for the 43rd annual 25-day Festival (May 18 – June 11, 2017).

This year, SIFF will screen 400 films representing 80 countries and will include: 161 features (plus 4 secret films), 58 documentaries, 14 archival films, and 163 shorts. The lineup includes 36 World premieres (14 features, 22 shorts), 34 North American premieres (22 features, 12 shorts), and 20 U.S. premieres (11 features, 19 shorts).

SIFF2017 LArge poster1

Opening night kicks off Friday, May 18 with The Big Sick from Amazon Studios. Starring and written by Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) along with his wife Emily V. Gordon, the film promises to electrify audiences with the smart and complicated romantic story based on the beginnings of their relationship. Nanjiani will be in attendance at the Seattle premiere and Opening Night Gala, along with co-writer Emily V. Gordon and director Michael Showalter (Hello, My Name is Doris and Wet Hot American Summer). Closing this year’s Festival is the North American premiere of The Young Karl Marx, directed by Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro). The story follows 26-year-old Karl Marx (August Diehl) and his wife Jenny in exile in Europe, where they meet a man who provides them with the final piece needed for the foundation of Marxist theory.

At the annual Centerpiece Gala, SIFF will travel to 1990s Manhattan in the slice-of-life comedy, Landline. Director Gillian Robespierre brings back actress-comedienne Jenny Slate following their SIFF 2014 run of Obvious Child. Slate, Robespierre, and new-coming actress Abby Quinn are all scheduled to attend the Seattle premiere taking place on Saturday, June 3.

The World premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s Trouble will screen at Seattle’s historic SIFF Cinema Egyptian as SIFF honors the film’s executive producer and star, Anjelica Huston, with the Career Achievement in Acting Award. In addition to the award presentation and screening, the acclaimed actress is also slated for an on-stage interview at the Wednesday, June 7 event.

Also scheduled is An Afternoon with Sam Elliott, where the festival will pay tribute to the all-American actor. Along with his iconic voice, Elliott makes his way to SIFF on Saturday, May 27th for the Seattle premiere of his newest film The Hero following an onstage discussion that afternoon.

Receiving raving reviews following its’ world premiere at SXSW is Seattle native S.J. Chiro’s first full-length feature, Lane 1974. Drawing off of Chiro’s own childhood experiences as well as those described in Clane Hayward’s memoir “The Hypocrisy of Disco”, SIFF is thrilled to present this 1970s coming-of-age narrative.

One of several interactive events features Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World, a documentary by Catherine Bainbridge celebrating the achievements and contributions of Native Americans in modern American music. Along with the screening of the film, guests will also enjoy Indigenous Centered Perspectives, an exhibit showcasing works by four indigenous artists at the Paramount Theater. The Friday, May 26 event is hosted by SIFF in collaboration with Amazon Video Direct, STG, and Longhouse Media.

“This year’s robust line-up includes a wide variety of programs ranging from heartfelt features from comedy favorites to thought-provoking documentaries, as well as once in a lifetime conversations with Hollywood legends,” says Interim Artistic Director Beth Barrett. “We are thrilled to jump into our 43rd edition and introduce spectacular programming from across the world to over 150,000 film enthusiasts in Seattle over the course of 25 days.”

The 2017 Seattle International Film Festival is presented by SIFF, the non-profit arts organization that reaches more than 350,000 annually through SIFF Cinema, SIFF Education, and the annual flagship Festival.

Festival Box office opens May 4 online at www.siff.net and in person at any SIFF venue box office.

View the full public program Here:  https://www.siff.net/festival

GALAS

Opening Night Gala
The Big Sick
Director Michael Showalter, co-writer / actor Kumail Nanjiani, and co-writer Emily V. Gordon scheduled to attend

The hilarious, romantic, and moving true story of the cross-cultural courtship between Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”) and his wife Emily (Zoe Kazan) comes to life in this utterly delightful comedy from director Michael Showalter and producer Judd Apatow.
(d: Michael Showalter c: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, USA 2017, 119 min)

Centerpiece Gala
Landline
Director Gillian Robespierre and stars Jenny Slate and Abby Quinn scheduled to attend

The director and star of Obvious Child reunite for this uproarious slice-of- life story about two sisters (Jenny Slate and breakout star Abby Quinn) in pre-cell-phone 1990s Manhattan who discover that their father is having an affair, and conspire to expose him. (d: Gillian Robespierre c: Jenny Slate, John Turturro, Edie Falco, Abby Quinn, Jay Duplass, Finn Wittrock, USA 2017, 93 min)

Closing Night Gala
The Young Karl Marx
North American Premiere

Director Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro) presents a lush period drama that joins 26-year- old Karl Marx (August Diehl) and his wife Jenny in exile in Europe, where they meet Friedrich Engels, who provides the final piece needed for the foundation of Marxist theory. (d: Raoul Peck
c: August Diehl, Stefan Konarske, Vicky Krieps, Hannah Steele, Olivier Gourmet, France/Germany/ Belgium 2016, 118 min)

SPECIAL GUESTS

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN ACTING AWARD
Anjelica Huston
Featuring Trouble
Plus screenings of The Grifters and The Witches

Anjelica Huston is a powerhouse of a woman whose career has spanned over 50 years:
through modeling, film, television, and on the page. Born into the family of renowned
film director John Huston and legendary grandfather Walter Huston, Anjelica was sure
to make a splash in the industry with both her unique beauty and strong presence.
Her penchant for and exquisite skill in portraying tenacious, crafty, emotionally strong
women has undoubtedly made her among the greatest actresses of our time.

Past honorees of the SIFF Outstanding Achievement in Acting Award include Laura Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Viggo Mortensen, Kyle MacLachlan, Sir Ben Kingsley, Kevin Bacon, Edward Norton, Sissy Spacek, Joan Allen, and Anthony Hopkins amongst others.

AN AFTERNOON WITH
Sam Elliott
Featuring The Hero

He of the gruff baritone voice and the luxuriant mustache, Sam Elliott is the quintessential portrait of the American cowboy, a quality he’s drawn on since he first appeared onscreen in the 1969 Oscar® winner Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. From Tombstone to Gettysburg, The Big Lebowski to Mask, Road House to Thank You for Smoking, ad campaigns for Coors and the American Beef Council, and TV work ranging from “Mission: Impossible” to “Justified,” his rugged, commanding presence is an unmistakable gift to American pop culture and any genre lucky enough to have him.

FEATURE FILM PREMIERES

World (14)

Crazywise (d: Phil Borges, Kevin Tomlinson f: Adam Gentry, Ekhaya Esima, Angeles Arrien, Phil Borges, Carroll Dunham, USA 2017, 82 min)

Entanglement (d: Jason James c: Thomas Middleditch, Jess Weixler, Diana Bang, Canada 2017, 85 min)

Escape Room (d: Will Wernick c: Evan Williams, Annabelle Stephenson, Elisabeth Hower, Dan J. Johnson,  John Ierardi, Kelly Delson, Billy Flynn, USA 2017, 81 min)

Fermented (d: Jonathan Cianfrani f: Edward Lee, USA 2017, 67 min)

Kakehashi: A Portrait of Chef Nobuo Fukuda (d: Andrew Gooi f: Nobuo Fukuda, Sarah Fukuda, Kazuko Fukuda, Japan 2017, 46 min)

Lives with Flavor (d: Pablo Gasca Gollas f: Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, Marco Beteta, Martha Ortiz, Israel Ronzon, Mexico 2017, 52 min)

Rocketmen (d: Webster Crowell c: Alycia Delmore, Basil Harris, Christopher Dietz, Ian Fraser, Ben Laurance, USA 2017, 67 min)

Say You Will (d: Nick Naveda c: Travis Tope, Katherine Hughes, Michelle Forbes, Sam Trammell, Israel Broussard, Adam Hagenbuch, Morgan Krantz, USA 2017, 97 min)

The Fabulous Allan Carr (d: Jeffrey Schwarz f: Allan Carr, Robert Osborne, Maxwell Caulfield, Steve Guttenberg, Randal Kleiser, USA 2017, 90 min)

The Feels (d: Jenée LaMarque c: Constance Wu, Angela Trimbur, Jenée LaMarque, Lauren Parks, Ever Mainard, Josh  Fadem, Kárin Tatoyan, Doug Purdy, USA 2017, 90 min)

Time Trap (d: Ben Foster c: Cassidy Gifford, Reiley McClendon, Brianne Howey, Olivia  Draguicevich, Max Wright, Andrew Wilson, USA 2017, 90 min)

Trouble (d: Theresa Rebeck c: Anjelica Huston, Bill Pullman, David Morse, Julie Stiles, Jim Parrack, Brian d’Arcy James, USA 2017, 90 min)

Wallflower (d: Jagger Gravning c: David Call, Atsuko Okatsuka, Conner Marx, USA 2017, 84 min)

North American (22)

7 Minutes (d: Michele Placido c: Ottavia Piccolo, Ambra Angiolini, Cristiana Capotondi, Fiorella Mannoia, Maria Nazionale, Violante Placido, Italy 2016, 92 min)

The Bloom of Yesterday (d: Chris Kraus c: Lars Eidinger, Adèle Haenel, Jan Josef Liefers, Hannah Herzsprung, Germany 2016, 125 min)

Borders (d: Apolline Traoré c: Amelie Mbaye, Naky Sy Savane, Burkina Faso 2017, 90 min)

Chameleon (d: Jorge Riquelme Serrano c: Gastón Salgado, Paula Zúñiga, Paulina Urrutia, Alejandro Goic, Chile 2016, 81 min)

Come, Together (d: SHIN Dong-il c: LEE Hye-eun, IM Hyeong-gook, CHAE Bin, KIM Jae-rok, HAN Kyung-hyun, South Korea 2016, 122 min)

The Door (d: LIANG Dong c: JIANG Wu, JIANG Qingin, ZHU Xu, FU Ying, LI Naiwen, China 2017, 104 min)

God of War (d: Gordon Chan c: Sammo Hung, Vincent Zhao, Regina Wan, Yasuaki Kurata, Keisuke Koide, China 2017, 130 min)

Have a Nice Day (d: Liu Jian c: Yang Siming, Cao Kou, Ma Xiaofeng, Zhu Changlong, China 2017, 77 min)

The Inland Road (d: Jackie Van Beek c: Gloria Popata, David Elliot, Chelsie Preston Crayford, New Zealand 2017, 79 min)

I Was a Dreamer (d: Michele Vannucci c: Mirko Frezza, Alessandro Borghi, Vittorio Viviani, Milena Mancini, Ivana Lotito, Ginevra De Carolis, Italy 2016, 100 min)

In Syria (d: Philippe Van Leeuw c: Hiam Abbass, Diamand Abou Abboud, Juliette Navis, Mohsen Abbas, Moustapha Al Kar, Alissar Kaghadou, Ninar Halabi, Mohammas, Jihad Sleik, Lebanon 2017, 85 min)

Investigating Paradise (d: Merzak Allouache f: Salima Abada, Younès Sabeur Chérif, France 2017, 135 min)

Ivan (d: Alyona Davydova c: Kirill Polukhin, Polina Gukhman, Anastasia Melnikova, Russia 2017, 94 min)

Paris Prestige (d: Hamé Bourokba c: Reda Kateb, Slimane Dazi, Yassine Azzouz, Elisa Bachir Bey, Mylene Bude, France 2016, 106 min)

Pavlensky – Man and Might (d: Irene Langemann, Germany 2016, 99 min)

Roberto Bolle – The Art of Dance (d: Francesca Pedroni f: Roberto Bolle, Nicoletta Manni, Melissa Hamilton, Eric Underwood, Matthew Golding, Jiři and Otto Bubeníček, Anna Tsygankova Maria Kochetkova, Joan Boada, Alexandre Riabko, Italy 2016, 105 min)

The Smuggler and Her Charges (d: Michaël Prazan, France 2016, 81 min)

Those Shocking Shaking Days (d: Selma Doborac c: Steve Crilley,  Paul Kraker, Austria 2016, 88 min)

Those Who Remain (d: Eliane Raheb f: Haykal Mikhael, Lebanon 2016, 95 min)

Two Irenes (d: Fabio Meira c: Priscila Bittencourt, Isabela Torres, Marco Ricca, Inês Peixoto, Brazil 2017, 89 min)

The Young Karl Marx (d: Raoul Peck c: August Diehl, Stefan Konarske, Vicky Krieps, Hannah Steele, Olivier Gourmet, France 2016, 118 min)

U.S. (11)

Becoming Who I Was (d: MOON Chang-yong c: Angdu Padma, Rigzin Urgain, South Korea 2016, 95 min)

Close Relations (d: Vitaly Mansky, Germany 2016, 114 min)

Devil’s Freedom (d: Everardo González, Mexico 2017, 74 min)

Emma’ (Mother) (d: Riri Riza c: Cut Mini, Christoffer Nelwan, Arman Dewarti, Jajang C. Noer, Indonesia 2016, 77 min)

Ghost Hunting (d: Raed Andoni c: Nakhane Mahlakahlaka, Niza Jay Ncoyini, Bongile Mantsai, Palestine 2016, 90 min)

Quit Staring at My Plate (d: Hana Jušić c: Mia Petričević, Nikša Butijer, Arijana Čulina, Zlatko Burić, Croatia 2016, 105 min)

Small Town Killers (d: Ole Borndal c: Ulrich Thomsen, Nicolas Bro, Lene Mara Christiansen, Mia Lyhne, Denmark 2017, 90 min)

Suffering of Ninko (d: Norihiro Niwatsukino c: Masato Tsujioka, Miho Wakabayashi, Hideta Iwahashi, Yukino Arimoto, Japan 2016, 70 min)

Susanne Bartsch: On Top (d: Anthony Caronna c: Susanne Bartsch, USA 2017, 84 min)

The Song of Cotton (d: ZHU Yuancheng c: YAN Bingyan, WANG Deshun, China 2016, 90 min)

Vampire Cleanup Department (d: YAN Pak Wing c: CHOI Babyjohn,  LIN Min Chen, CHIN Siu Ho, NG Richard, Hong Kong 2017, 94 min)

COMPETITIONS

Official Competition
Juried by a team of international industry members, the Official Competition recognizes distinct and resonant voices in filmmaking from around the world. The Grand Jury Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

2017 Entries:
7 Minutes (d. Michele Placido, Italy/France/Switzerland 2016, North American Premiere)
Bad Influence (d: Claudia Huaiqimilla, Chile 2016)
Beach Rats (d: Eliza Hittman, USA 2016)
Have A Nice Day (d: LIU Jian, China/Hong Kong 2017, North American Premiere)
Hedi (d: Mohamed Ben Attia, Tunisia/Belgium/France/Qatar/Uae 2016)
My Happy Family (d: Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Gross, Georgia/Germany/France 2017)
Sami Blood (d: Amanda Kernell, Sweden/Norway/Denmark 2016)
Zoology (d: Ivan I. Tverdovsky, Russia/France/Germany 2016)

New Directors Competition
Festival programmers select 10 films remarkable for their original scripts, innovative cinematography, and unique insights into people, places, and story. To be eligible, films must be a director’s first or second feature and without U.S. distribution at the time of their selection. The Grand Jury Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

2017 Entries:
Anishoara (d: Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu, Germany 2016)
Boundaries (d: Chloé Robichaud, Canada (Québec) 2016)
Diamond Island (d: Davy Chou, France 2016)
The Inland Road (d: Jackie Van Beek, New Zealand 2017, North American Premiere)
I Was A Dreamer (d: Michele Vannucci, Italy 2016, North American Premiere)
Kati Kati (d: Mbithi Masya, Kenya 2016)
The Man (d: Charlotte Sieling, Denmark 2017)
Paris Prestige (d: Hamé Bourokba, Ekoué Labitey, France 2016)
Quit Staring at My Plate (d: Hana Jušić, Croatia 2016)
Struggle for Life (d: Antonin Peretjatko, Belgium 2016)

Ibero-American Competition
The Ibero-American Competition selects 8 outstanding films from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal to highlight the increasing power, creativity, and influence of storytelling in the region. To be eligible, films must be making their U.S. premiere at the Festival and be without U.S. distribution at the time of their selection. The Grand Jury Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

2017 Entries:
Chameleon (d: Jorge Riquelme Serrano, Chile 2016, North American Premiere)
Devil’s Freedom (d: Everardo González, Mexico 2017, US Premiere)
May God Save Us (d: Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Spain 2016)
Pendular (d: Julia Murat, Brazil/Argentina/France 2017)
Santa & Andres (d: Carlos Lechuga, Cuba/Colombia/France 2016)
Two Irenes (d: Fabio Meira, Brazil 2017, North American Premiere)
The Winter (d: Emiliano Torres, Argentina/France 2016)
Woodpeckers (d: José María Cabral, Dominican Republic 2017)

New American Cinema Competition
Each of these films has found a champion in the SIFF programming team and was selected for its potential to capture the hearts of audiences looking to explore the exciting vanguard of New American Cinema. Jury is comprised of 3 members from the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI). The Grand Jury Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

2017 Entries:
American Folk (d: David Heinz, USA 2017)
Columbus (d: Kogonada USA 2017)
Dara Ju (d: Anthony Onah, USA/Nigeria 2017)
The Feels (d: Jenée Lamarque, USA 2017, World Premiere)
In The Radiant City (d: Rachel Lambert, USA 2016)
The Landing (d: Mark Dodson and David Dodson, USA 2016)
Lane 1974 (d: SJ Chiro, USA 2017)
Say You Will (d: Nick Naveda, USA 2017, World Premiere)

Documentary Competition
For the documentarian, the world around us provides a seemingly inexhaustible source of material. From the ridiculous to the sublime and everything in between, documentary art is about showing the world how it is, how it was, and how it could be. The Grand Jury Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

2017 Entries:
Becoming Who I Was (d: Moon Chang-Yong, Jeon Jin, South Korea 2016, US Premiere)
Close Relations (d: Vitaly Mansky, Germany/Latvia/Estonia/Ukraine 2016, US Premiere)
The Farthest (d: Emer Reynolds, Ireland 2017)
Ghost Hunting (d: Raed Andoni, Palestine/France/Switzerland 2016 US Premiere)
The Reagan Show (d: Pacho Velez, Sierra Pattengill, USA 2017)
Roberto Bolle ― The Art Of Dance (d: Francesca Pedroni, Italy 2016, North American Premiere)
Those Who Remain (d: Eliane Raheb, Lebanon/Uae 2016, North American Premiere)
What Lies Upstream (d: Cullen Hoback, USA 2017)
Winnie (d: Pascale Lamche, France/Netherlands/South Africa 2017)

Shorts Competition
All short films shown at the Festival are eligible for both the Golden Space Needle Audience Award and Jury Award. Jurors will choose winners in the Narrative, Animation, and Documentary categories. Each jury winner will receive $2,500 and winners in any of the three categories may also qualify to enter the respective Short Film category of the Academy Awards® for the concurrent season without the theatrical run.

Golden Space Needle Awards
For the past 30 years, SIFF has celebrated its most popular films and filmmakers with the Golden Space Needle Audience Award. Awards by Festival audiences are given in five categories: Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Short Film.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

CABARET: AN EVENING OF CABARET WITH ROBBIE TURNER
Wednesday ∙ May 24 ∙ 7:00 PM
SIFF Cinema Egyptian

Life is a cabaret, old chum! Dress in your finest Cabaret-style duds and join us for an evening inside the fabled Kit Kat Klub as Seattle drag icon Robbie Turner (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”) presents an original Cabaret-inspired revue followed by a screening of Bob Fosse’s Academy Award®- winning 1972 film.
(d: Bob Fosse c: Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Michael York, Helmut Griem, 1972, 124 min)

THE ‘80S TEEN MOVIE HIGH SCHOOL REUNION
Friday ∙ May 26 ∙ 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM
The Neptune

Join us for this epic party celebrating a “totally rad” decade! Show off your ‘80s duds, compete
in our Yearbook Challenge, sing along to the decade’s best movie anthems, laugh along with staged recreations of classic scenes performed by Ian Bell’s Brown Derby Series, and dance the night away with live music from ‘80s Invasion.

RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD
Friday ∙ May 26 ∙ 7:00 PM
The Paramount
Repeat Screening:
Saturday ∙ May 27 ∙ 11:30 AM
SIFF Cinema Uptown

The contributions of Native Americans in modern American music―from Link Wray to Robbie
Robertson, Charlie Patton to Buffy Sainte-Marie―get a much-deserved showcase in this celebratory exposé of the indigenous influence on the soundtrack of popular culture.
(d: Catherine Bainbridge f: Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Martin Scorsese, Tony Bennett, Steven, Tyler, Iggy Pop, Canada 2017, 103 min)

PUGET SOUNDTRACK PRESENTS PROM QUEEN
Thursday ∙ June 1 ∙ 7:00 PM
The Triple Door

The dark-surf, girl-group noir sounds of Seattle’s Prom Queen meets some of our favorite visuals from the catalogue of beloved exploitation film archivists Something Weird video, creating a unique new experience of B-movie indulgence. Co-presented by Northwest Film Forum’s Puget Soundtrack series and Capitol Hill Block Party.

BRAINSTORM
Monday ∙ June 5 ∙ 6:30 PM
SIFF Cinema Egyptian

In visionary effects artist Douglas Trumbull’s utterly mind-bending 1983 film, a pair of scientists (Louise Fletcher and Christopher Walken) invent an experimental brain-recording alternate-reality device and must fight to keep it out of the hands of the military. Post-screening discussion to follow.
(d: Douglas Trumbull c: Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood, Louise Fletcher, Cliff Robertson, USA 1983, 106 min)

LOVE AND DUTY
Tuesday ∙ June 6 ∙ 6:00 PM
SIFF Cinema Uptown

Chinese silent film icon Ruan Lingyu, frequently called the Greta Garbo of Shanghai, stars in this newly restored edition of one of the biggest films of early Chinese cinema, a decades-spanning romantic drama about a woman who pays dearly for following her heart. With live accompaniment by Donald Sosin.
(d: Bu Wancang c: Chen Yen Yen, Jin Yan, Ruan Lingyu, China 1931, 153 min)

DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
With live soundtrack by The Invincible Czars 

Thursday ∙ June 8 ∙ 7:00 PM
The Triple Door

After more than a decade of silent film scores that beautifully blend rock and orchestral music, Austin band the Invincible Czars now unleash their spooky sonic reimagining of the classic silent adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s iconic tale starring the legendary John Barrymore.
(d: John S. Robertson c: John Barrymore, Brandon Hurst, Martha Mansfield, Charles Lane, Cecil Clovelly, USA 1920, 79 min)

FILMS WITH PARTIES

Opening Night Gala
The Big Sick

THURSDAY, MAY 18, 7:00 P.M.
Party to follow screening
FILM: MARION OLIVER MCCAW HALL
PARTY: FISHER PAVILION

The hilarious, romantic, and moving true story of the cross-cultural courtship between Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”) and his wife Emily (Zoe Kazan) comes to life in this utterly delightful comedy from director Michael Showalter and producer Judd Apatow.
(d: Michael Showalter c: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, USA 2017, 119 min)

Centerpiece Gala
Landline

SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 5:30 P.M.
FILM: SIFF CINEMA EGYPTIAN
PARTY: DAR RAINIER CHAPTER HOUSE

The director and star of Obvious Child reunite for this uproarious slice-of-life story about two sisters (Jenny Slate and breakout star Abby Quinn) in pre-cell-phone 1990s Manhattan who discover that their father is having an affair, and conspire to expose him.
(d: Gillian Robespierre c: Jenny Slate, John Turturro, Edie Falco, Abby Quinn, Jay Duplass, Finn Wittrock, USA 2017, 93 min)

Closing Night Gala
The Young Karl Marx
North American Premiere

SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 6:00 P.M.
FILM: CINERAMA
PARTY: MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND INDUSTRY (MOHAI)

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels meet and talk and lay the foundation for political revolution, compellingly, in Raoul Peck’s follow-up to his Oscar®-nominated doc I Am Not Your Negro.
(d: Raoul Peck c: August Diehl, Stefan Konarske, Vicky Krieps, Hannah Steele, Olivier Gourmet, France/Germany/ Belgium 2016, 118 min)

Saturday Film and Party #1
The Trip to Spain

SATURDAY, MAY 20, 7:00 P.M.
FILM: PACIFIC PLACE CINEMAS
PARTY: SIFF LOUNGE

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reunite with director Michael Winterbottom for another chapter in their hilarious road-trip series. This time, on a tour through picturesque Spain, Coogan and Brydon trade comic observations on fame and friendship as dry as the finest Spanish wine.
(d: Michael Winterbottom c: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon)

Saturday Film and Party #2
The Little Hours

SATURDAY, MAY 27, 7:00 P.M.
FILM: PACIFIC PLACE CINEMAS
PARTY: SEATTLE ART MUSEUM

Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, and Kate Micucci star as a group of hilariously profane and emotionally unstable nuns all competing to seduce the convent’s virile new servant (Dave Franco) in this bawdy, subversive comedy that turns the Middle Ages upside down.
(d: Jeff Baena c: Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Fred Armisen, Nick Offerman, USA/Italy 2017, 90 min)

Kirkland Opening Night
Footnotes

THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 8:00 P.M.
PARTY AND FILM: KIRKLAND PERFORMANCE CENTER

La La Land meets Norma Rae with a pinch of Jacques Demy in this toe-tapping working-class musical comedy with a social conscience about a young woman who gets her dream job at a luxury shoe factory, only to become enmeshed in a labor strike.
(d: Kostia Testut, Paul Calori c: Pauline Etienne, Olivier Chantreau, Francois Morel, France 2016, 90 min)

Gay-La
Susanne Bartsch: On Top

THURSDAY, JUNE 8, 7:00 P.M.
FILM: SIFF CINEMA EGYPTIAN
PARTY: BALTIC ROOM

Meet the irrepressible driving force behind New York City’s nightlife scene for the past 30 years: event promoter and muse Susanne Bartsch, whose lavish, theatrical, trend-setting parties have embraced all walks of life and attracted a who’s-who of the fashion underground.
(d: Anthony Caronna, Alexander Smith f: Susanne Bartsch, USA 2017, 84 min)

AFRICAN PICTURES

African Pictures showcases the best filmmaking happening in and about Africa today. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to experience innovative and inspiring filmmaking from across the continent.

Borders (d: Apolline Traoré c: Amelie Mbaye, Naky Sy Savane, Burkina Faso 2017, 90 min, North American Premiere)

Hedi (d: Mohamed Ben Attia c: Majd Mastoura, Rym Ben Messaoud, Sabah Bouzouita, Hakim Boumessoudi, Ombia Ben Ghali, Tunisia 2016, 89 min)

Investigating Paradise (d: Merzak Allouache c: Salima Abada, Younès Sabeur Chérif, France 2017, 135 min, North American Premiere)

Kalushi (d: Mandla Dube c: Thabo Rametsi, Thabo Malema, Welile Nzuza, Jafta Mamabolo, Pearl Thusi, Gcina Mhlophe, South Africa 2016, 107 min)

The Nile Hilton Incident (d: Tarik Saleh c: Fares Fares, Mari Malek, Mohamed Yousry, Yasser Ali Maher, Ahmed Selim, Hania Amar, Sweden 2017, 106 min)

The Wedding Party (d: Kemi Adetiba c: Adesua Etomi, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Banky Wellington, Nigeria 2016, 110 min)

Winnie (d: Pascale Lamche, France 2017, 98 min)

Wùlu (d: Daouda Coulibaly c: Ibrahim Koma, Inna Modja, Ismael Ndiaye, Jean-Marie Traore, Dembele Habib, Mariame Ndiaye, Quim Gutierrez, Oliver Rabourdin, France 2016, 95 min)

CHINA STARS

SIFF is proud to present the second year of our China Stars Showcase series during the 43rd annual Seattle International Film Festival, with support from WASA North America Group and Hainan Airlines.

Collaborating with WASA North America Group to foster cross-cultural exchange and artistic vision, we are pleased to present 10 feature films from mainland China. SIFF also reached out to the Beijing Film Academy, and we are thrilled to present five short films from BFA students. These films will play prior to the Chinese feature films, and we know you will enjoy the creativity of the student filmmakers.

This year we are pleased to announce our inaugural China Stars awards. On Friday, June 9 at the Pan Pacific Hotel, SIFF will honor the talented Qin Yi with a Lifetime Achievement Award; we will present the Director of The Door, Dong Liang, with our China Stars Emerging Artist Award, and SIFF will present the China Stars Film Award to Wanda Film Group.

The SIFF China Stars showcase series is curated in part by Mr. Eugene Zhang of WASA North America Group.

The Beautiful Kokonor Lake (d. XING-HAO Shen c: Qin Yi, Jiang Ping, Jennifer Shu Chang. Huang Hong, Tony Rui-Xin, China 2017, 98 min)

The Door (d. XING-HAO Shen c: JIANG Wu, JIANG Qingin, ZHU Xu, FU Ying, LI Naiwen, China 2017, 98 min, North American Premiere)

Free and Easy (d. JUN Geng c: ZU Gang, ZHANG Zhiyong, XUE Baohe, WANG Xuxu, GU Benbin, ZHANG Xun, YUAN Liguo China 2016, 99 min)

God of War (d. Gordon Chan c: Sammo Hung, Vincent Zhao, Regina Wan, Yasuaki Kurata, Keisuke Koide, China 2017, 130 min)

Have a Nice Day (d. LIU Jian c: Yang Siming, Cao Kou, Ma Xiaofeng, Zhu Changlong, China 2017, 77 min)

Knife in the Clear Water (d. WANG Xuebo c: YANG Shengcang, ZHOU Jinhua, YANG Fan, YANG Xue, China 2016, 93 min, US Premiere)

Love and Duty (d. WANCANG Bu c: RUAN Lingyu, JIN Yan, China 1931, 153 min)

The Song of Cotton (d. ZHU Yuancheng c: YAN Bingyan, WANG Deshun, China 2016, 90 min)

Soul on a String (d. ZHANG Yang c: Kimba, Quni Ciren, Siano Dudiom Zahi, Solange Nima, China 2016, 142 min)

Tea Pets (d. Gary Wang v: SHI Lei, YUAN Zeyu, JI Guanlin, China 2017, 93 min)

Short films from the Beijing Film Academy:
Bloom (d. SUN Yiran and XU Jiyao c: Yiran SUN, Jiyao XU, China 2017, 8 min)
Elephant King (d. FU Yan and FU Chao c: Wang Naizhen, Fan Meng, Fu Yan, Fu Yongcha, China 2017, 11 min)
Free Throw Line (d. ZHANG Yixin China 2017, 7 min)
I Come From Prairie (d. Nuhan Arisbek, China 2017, 8 min)
The Sea (d. LI Yifan, China 2017 c: Jinshan Wang Feiyu Chen, Yihao Qian, 7 min)

CULINARY CINEMA

Popcorn is no longer king as the phenomenon of food culture has exploded into cinema. We’ve selected some extraordinary films that explore different aspects of taste and the senses for the cinematically inclined.

Cook Up a Storm (d: Raymond Yip Wai Man c: Alberto Calvet Gonzalez, You Ge, Yong-hwa Jung, Barbora Mottlová, Yan Tang, USA 2017, 97 min)

Fermented (d: Jonathan Cianfrani c: Edward Lee, USA 2017, 67 min, World Premiere)

Food Evolution (d: Scott Hamilton Kennedy c: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Michael Pollan, Charles Benbrook, USA 2016, 92 min)

Kakehashi: A Portrait of Chef Nobuo Fukuda (d: Andrew Gooi c: Nobuo Fukuda, Sarah Fukuda, Kazuko Fukuda, Japan 2017, 46 min, World Premiere)

Lives with Flavor (d: Pablo Gasca Gollas c: Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, Marco Beteta,Martha Ortiz,Israel Ronzon, Alberto Albarran, Patricia Muñoz Zurita, Salomé Freixas, Gonzalo Serrano, Mexico 2017, 52 min, World Premiere)

New Chefs on the Block (d: Dustin Harrison-Atlas c: Frank Linn,  Aaron Silverman, Kate Diamond, Michel Richard, Danny Meyer, Mike Isabella, Tim Carman, Emily Sprissler, USA 2016, 96 min)

The Turkish Way (d: Luis Gonzalez c: Joan Roca, Josep Roca, Jordi Roca, Sabiha Apaydin,  Maksut Askar, Mehmet  Gurs, Sina Sucuka, Spain 2016, 120 min)

FACE THE MUSIC

Four out of five SIFF programmers agree that regular exposure to music and film are essential to your overall well-being. With that in mind, this year’s Face the Music program has been specifically designed to provide a holistic regimen for your audio-visual health.

Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall (d: Katherine Fairfax Wright f: Todrick Hall, Teresa Stanley, Wayne Brady, Chester Lockhart, Jesse Pattison, Brenda Cornish, Vonzell Solomon, Jenni Thomasson, Jazlyn Nicole Miller, USA 2017, 105 min)

Bill Frisell, A Portrait (d: Emma Franz f: Bill Frisell, Paul Motian, Jim Hall, Mike Gibbs, Jason Moran, Jim Woodring, Joey Baron, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wollesen, John Zorn, Australia 2017, 114 min)

Chavela (d: Catherine Gund f: Chavela Vargas, Pedro Almodóvar, USA 2017, 90 min)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with live soundtrack by The Invincible Czars (d: John S. Robertson c: John Barrymore, Brandon Hurst, Martha Mansfield, Charles Lane, Cecil Clovelly, USA 1920, 79 min)

Give Me Future (d: Austin Peters, USA 2017, 85 min)

A Life in Waves (d: Brett Whitcomb f: Suzanne Ciani, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Kitaro, Peter Baumann, Dorit Chrysler, Sarah Davachi, Don Buchla, USA 2016, 75 min)

On the Road (d: Michael Winterbottom f: Wolf Alice, James McArdle, Leah Harvey, Swim Deep, Bloody Knees, United Kingdom 2016, 112 min)

The Paris Opera (d: Jean-Stéphane Bron f: Stéphane Lissner, Benjamin Millepied, France 2016, 110 min)

NORTHWEST CONNECTIONS

Seattleites see more films per capita than the residents of any other American city, and a growing number of these selections have their roots in the fertile Pacific Northwest film community. Each year, SIFF honors the many ways in which the Puget Sound region contributes to the world of cinema, whether as an evocative location for outside filmmakers or as inspiration for local filmmakers ready to strut their stuff.

The Cage Fighter (d: Jeff Unay f: Callie Carman, Joe Carman, Delanee Carman, Vernon Beach, USA 2017, 83 min)

Crazywise (d: Phil Borges, Kevin Tomlinson f: Adam Gentry, Ekhaya Esima, Angeles Arrien, Phil Borges, Carroll Dunham, USA 2017, 82 min, World Premiere)

Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey (d: Dave O’Leske, USA 2017, 96 min)

Lane 1974 (d: SJ Chiro c: Sophia Mitri Schloss, Katherine Moennig, Annette Toutonghi, Sara Coates, USA 2017, 80 min)

Pow Wow (d: Robinson Devor, USA 2016, 75 min)

Rocketmen (d: Webster Crowell c: Alycia Delmore, Basil Harris, Christopher Dietz, Ian Fraser, Ben Laurance, USA 2017, 67 min, World Premiere)

Wallflower (d: Jagger Gravning c: David Call, Atsuko Okatsuka, Conner Marx, USA 2017, 84 min, World Premiere)

360˚/VR STORYTELLING POWERED BY WONDERTEK

360˚/VR STORYTELLING POP-UP, POWERED BY WONDERTEK LABS 
Weekends from Friday, May 19 – Saturday, June 10
Passholder Happy Hours and Festival Forums times
SIFF Lounge, presented by Vulcan Productions

While the emerging tech behind-the-scenes of virtual reality and 360˚ have been evolving over the past few years, 360˚ filmmakers and VR content creators have been organically evolving a new language and tools for storytelling in this space. WonderTek Labs has curated a selection of some of the best in 360˚ storytelling from creators from the Seattle region and around the globe, showcased on Google Daydream headsets, that highlight a spectrum of where 360˚ storytelling is today.

Selections will include a work-in-progress cut of Seattle-based Mechanical Dreams’ Potato Dreams, the VR companion to SIFF’s short-film selection Little Potato; a reprise presentation of “The Stranger” Genius Award winner Tracy Rector’s Eagle Bone; Madrid-based Future Lighthouse’s groundbreaking branded storytelling piece Beefeater XO (a top-10 finalist for the Tribeca X Prize); an interactive VR episode for Spanish hit television series “El Ministerio Del Tiempo”; a selection of the best work to come out of the four SIXR Cinematic VR Hackathons; and other content TBD.

360˚/VR STORYTELLING PLAYTANK
Saturday, June 10 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM
SIFF Film Center

Are you a filmmaker who wants to learn more about transitioning to 360˚/VR, or a VR dev who wants to connect with filmmakers? Do you have a 360˚ or VR project in mind and want to connect with other folks interested in working on projects? Do you have expertise to share, or things you want to learn? The 360˚/VR Storytelling PlayTank is a hand-on, interactive event intended to bring together the Seattle 360˚/VR and filmmaking communities for a morning of topical small-group breakout conversations, hands-on demos and workshops, and informal opportunities to connect like-minded creatives, show personal projects and demos, and learn about emerging technologies.

The PlayTank will kick off with a Geekout Breakout Session Breakfast, where participants will join small, mentor-facilitated, small-group breakout sessions on topics including Spatial Audio, 360˚ Production and Post Production, Branching Narrative in 360˚ Storytelling, 360˚ Documentary Storytelling, and Ethics in Developing 360˚/VR Content.

Mettle CEO Chris Bobotis will be on hand to present a hands-on workshop for Mettle’s 360˚ editing plug-ins for Adobe Premiere. Bring your laptop to participate (you must have Adobe Premiere; you can download a free 30-day trial version if you don’t own Premiere). Participants will receive a free temporary license to use Mettle’s products as a part of this workshop. Upstairs in the PlayTank, participants will explore hands-on demos and workshops, and grab another coffee and connect organically with others in the community. The PlayTank is an open and collaborative space. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops and demos to share.

SIFF EDUCATION

SIFF offers three programs during Festival: FutureWave, Films4Families, and Forums.

FUTUREWAVE AND FILM4FAMILIES
SIFF has programs curated to make the Festival more accessible to younger audiences. FutureWave features are a great place for our cinema-savvy teen audience to find their love of world cinema and Films4Families is the perfect way for younger children (and the young at heart) to have a fabulous experience at SIFF. Both programs also have Youth Juries comprised of youth from their age bracket to watch all the films and present the Youth Jury Award in their respective categories.

FORUMS & PANELS
Where audiences and filmmakers come together to learn about and experience making movies. Unless otherwise noted, Festival forums and panels are held at the SIFF Lounge, presented by Vulcan Productions. A complete list of this year’s forums and panels can be found here: www.siff.net/festival

VENUES

SEATTLE
SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, SIFF Film Center, AMC Pacific Place 11, McCaw Hall, Cinerama, Majestic Bay Theatres, Ark Lodge Cinemas, The Neptune, The Triple Door, The Paramount, and SIFF Lounge, presented by Vulcan Productions

BELLEVUE
Lincoln Square Cinemas

KIRKLAND
Kirkland Performance Center

RENTON
Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center

SHORELINE
Shoreline Community College

SIFF 2017 BY THE NUMBERS

400 Films
80 Countries
161 Features
58 Documentaries
14 Archival
163 Short Films
4 Secret Films
36 World Premieres (14 Features, 22 Shorts)
34 North American Premieres (22 Features, 12 Shorts)
20 US Premieres (11 Features, 9 Shorts)
50% 1st and 2nd time filmmakers
70% without US Distribution
30% Women Filmmakers (45% of Feature Competition films are Women directed)

Nic Novicki BEST header

Easterseals SoCal partners with Disability Film Challenge

press_scottcapestany_mediaincmagazine

By Scott A. Capestany – Editor In Chief

Hollywood, CA

In a move to support one of the most under represented groups in the entertainment industry, the Easterseals organization partnered with the LA based Disability Film Challenge founded by producer, actor, writer and stand up comedian Nic Novicki this Spring.

As we continue our coverage of the unique and diverse sectors within the entertainment industry, we got a chance to sit down with Novicki poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt to learn more about his endeavor and recent premier affiliation with the Easterseals.

Q: Tell us about the evolution of the Disability Film Challenge and how the Easterseals got involved this year.

A:  A handful of years ago I came up with the idea to start the disability film challenge to help bring awareness and to support people in the entertainment industry whom have disabilities.  Over 56 million people in the US live with some form of disability.  My mission with this film challenge was designed to help these marginalized groups within the creative space have a platform to showcase their unique projects through This year we had more submissions in the four years of the challenge running while establishing wonderful sponsorships  and support allegiances with DELL, CBS Diversity and SAG-AFTRA.  

Q:  Tell us about your personal connection to this cause of disability performing artists in the industry?

Nic Novicki 1

Nic Novicki Founder of Easterseals Disability Film Challenge

A:  Being that I personally represent one of the many recognized disability groups in the US, I’ve always had to carve out my own path in this industry by creating my own roles and hustle harder than most.   I’ve had the privilege over the years to partner with so many talented people and organizations in the creative space over the course of career that all supported by vision by bringing the film challenge idea to reality in the last handful of years.  Becoming a mentor with CBS diversity not only has helped me in my own career as a performer with disabilities but more importantly has helped bring to light the lack of diversity at the studio level.    

Q:  How does the Easterseals Disability Film challenge work?

A: We just completed our fourth year this Spring.  People in the entertainment space with and without disabilities are encouraged to participate in our challenge. Each team produces a short film within 55 hours over the course of one full weekend lasting no more than five minutes showcasing at least one member of the cast or crew with a disability.  Prior to the challenge, each participating team is emailed a short list of elements involving a genre/theme, prop/locations that need to be included in the film.

Q: Tell us about the categories and prizes the winners receive.

A:  This year we partnered with DELL to offer our winners in four categories brand new computers.  We also partnered with Hollyshorts Film Festival (now an Oscar qualifying festival) to screen our winning films at the famous and iconic TCL Chinese theater on Hollywood Blvd in August.  We’ve got four unique achievement categories that filmmakers content for each year.  Best Film, Best Filmmaker, Best Actor and Best Promotional Campaign. Winners for 2017 will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Leaders from both Easter Seals and CBS Entertainment Diversity also shared with us more about their new partnerships with Nic’s endeavor.  Senior Vice President of Entertainment Diversity & Communications at CBS Entertainment Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i offered these remarks about their involvement.

 Q: Tell us about working with Nic Novicki and how CBS Entertainment Diversity supports his vision of the Easterseals Film Challenge.

A: Nic is a former participant of our annual Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase. It was his undeniable talent and dedication to the program that paved the way for our continuous communication. When Nic presented his project to us we were thrilled. It is so rewarding to see former showcase participants take charge and continue to advocate for diversity in entertainment, especially on behalf of the largest and most underrepresented minority in the United States. Our support is beyond question.

Q: What type of support and scope of collaboration is involved with your sponsorship? 

A: In addition to judging the submissions, a major aspect of our collaboration is having the pleasure of spending time with the winners and mentoring them to help define the next step in their careers. It is essential for these creatives to continue to develop professional relationships not only with executives but among their peers to build a strong network with opportunities and resources.

Q: Tell us more about CBS Entertainment Diversity program/s

A: Along with our annual Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, our department manages five additional programs for writers, directors, actors and students that like the Easterseals film challenge, aim to showcase the talent of individuals with diverse backgrounds, both in front and behind the camera. These programs create a talent pipeline that CBS and other network counterparts can utilize. We are proud to say that every year we witness participants making headway in their careers.  More information on these programs can be found at www.cbsdiversity.com

Best Film: 2017 Winner Cory Reeder (“Best Friend”) – The Best Film award is presented to the leading producer based on the film’s incorporation of the required elements (theme, props and locations), production quality and plotline. PRIZE: The award recipient will receive a mentorship opportunity with Speechless creator Scott Silveri, one Dell mobile workstation and a spot to screen their film at the HollyShorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatres.

Best Filmmaker:  2017 Winner JONATHAN JOHNSON (“Sibings Liebencrantz”) -The Best Filmmaker award is presented to the director of the film with the most outstanding direction of acting, cinematography and storytelling. Dependent upon the genre/theme, judges base their decision on the director’s ability to evoke emotions in specific scenes as well as surrounding the overall film as appropriate. PRIZEThe award recipient will receive a mentorship opportunity with actor, writer, and director Randall Park, one Dell 2-in-1 computer and a spot to screen their film at the HollyShorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatres

Best Actor: 2017 Winner JAMIE BREWER (“Whitney’s Wedding”) – The Best Actor award is presented to the actor with the most memorable performance. Judges consider the complexity of the character and the actor’s ability to take on this challenging role. PRIZE: The award recipient will receive a mentorship opportunity with actress, writer, producer, and activist Amy Brenneman one Dell 2-in-1 computer and a spot to screen their film at the HollyShorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatres.

Best Awareness Campaign: The Best Awareness Campaign award is presented to the leading producer for the team that raises the most awareness for their film through marketing strategies. Judges will review the YouTube videos for number of overall views, shares, likes, and press coverage. PRIZE:  The award recipient will receive a mentorship opportunity with the Executive Vice President of Entertainment Diversity, Inclusion and Communications at CBS Entertainment, Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i.

Q: Tell us about the mentors and judges that are involved in the challenge.

A: The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge provides both an opportunity to hone filmmakers skills and the chance to interact with well seasoned entertainment industry professionals and have their work scrutinized and screened by some very well established filmmakers . We’re proud to work with producers, writers, directors, casting directors and other crew members in two ways. Our Mentors meet with each of our winners to give advice on building a career in “the business.”  All mentors and judges can be found on their website HERE. 

We also got a chance to connect with the MARK WHITLEYPresident and CEO of Easter Seals Southern California who shared with us some great insight on his organizations new sponsorship of the program.

Q: How is Easterseals Southern California working with Nic Novicki and supporting his vision?
A: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Nic Novicki on this year’s Easterseals Disability Film Challenge — Nic has built the Challenge to be a premier annual event showcasing the power of diversity.  Through this partnership, we hope to continue Nic’s vision of encouraging and highlighting the tremendous talent and stories that exist within the disability community.”
Q: Tell us about the impact the sponsorship will have on Easterseals SC mission statement in supporting people with disabilities.
A: “We continually strive to change the way the world defines and views disability — storytelling through film is a unique and powerful way to continue the conversation and shift people’s perception.  The Challenge is a new opportunity to support and highlight the skills of individuals with disabilities.”
Q: How does the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge enhance your organizations directives?
“The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge enhances all of our various service areas — including Adult Day Services, Living Options, Employment Services, the Bob Hope Veterans Support Program, Child Development Services and our Autism Therapy Services — by telling stories that showcase a variety of individuals will all levels of ability, we can showcase the amazing ways individuals with disabilities contribute to society.”
4. Share with us the type of support you are now offering Nic with with endeavor. 
“We are supporting the Easterseals Disability Challenge in many ways.  We launched a completely redesigned website, did extensive traditional and social media outreach, implemented a targeted online and print advertising effort to encourage filmmakers to apply as well as created and distributed a variety of collateral materials to support the Challenge.” 
This year, the EASTERSEALS partnered with Novicki making his creation officially the “Easterseals Disability Film Challenge”.  We caught up with TIFFANY SMITH-ANOA’I – Senior VP CBS Entertainment & Communcatio.  Here’s what she said about the new partnership.
MEDIA INC: Tell us about working with Nic Novicki and how CBS Entertainment Diversity supports his vision of the Easterseals Film Challenge.

Smith – Anoa’i:  Nic is a former participant of our annual Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase. It was his undeniable talent and dedication to the program that paved the way for our continuous communication. When Nic presented his project to us we were thrilled. It is so rewarding to see former showcase participants take charge and continue to advocate for diversity in entertainment, especially on behalf of the largest and most underrepresented minority in the United States. Our support is beyond question.

MI: What type of support and scope of collaboration is involved with your sponsorship?

S-A: In addition to judging the submissions, a major aspect of our collaboration is having the pleasure of spending time with the winners and mentoring them to help define the next step in their careers. It is essential for these creatives to continue to develop professional relationships not only with executives but among their peers to build a strong network with opportunities and resources.

MI: Tell us more about CBS Entertainment Diversity program/s

S-A: Along with our annual Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, our department manages five additional programs for writers, directors, actors and students that like the Easterseals film challenge, aim to showcase the talent of individuals with diverse backgrounds, both in front and behind the camera. These programs create a talent pipeline that CBS and other network counterparts can utilize. We are proud to say that every year we witness participants making headway in their careers.  More information on these programs can be found at www.cbsdiversity.com

You can follow Nic Novicki on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM and also read more about his career as a actor, producer, writer and comedian HERE on his IMDB page.

Click here for more about  EASTERSEALS Southern California 

Follow Easterseasls SC on TWITTER

 

 

 

 

LAAPFF Banner smallest BEST

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival 2017 Kicks off this week – WIF Showcased

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Opening night screening 7pm @ Egyptian Theater Hollywood!

By Scott A. Capestany @MediaIncMag 

Hollywood, CA

The 2017 LA ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL (#LAAPFF) kicked off Thursday night at 7pm with their opening night screening of Director JUSTIN LIN (Fast & Furious) latest endeavor BETTER LUCK TOMORROW and Festival Gala beginning at 9:30pm.

Hosted at the iconic Egyptian Theater in Hollywood (6712 Hollywood Blvd), Red Carpet arrivals begin at 6pm. Lin will be in attendance tonight along with his cast from the film.

The festival will run from April 27-May 4th. While also running in Orange County from May 5-11, 2017.

This weekend’s centerpiece screening of the film GOOK on Saturday night April 29th was the 2017 Sundance Film Festival Next Audience Award winner in Park City Utah.

As we continue to cover #WomenInFilm throughout the IndyFilm secor of the industry, here’s a complete list (updated throughout the festival) of films written, directed and/or produced by WOMEN IN FILM at the this years festival.

APRIL 28, 2017 – Special Screening – 4pm

RELOCATION ARKANSAS (Trailer link)

A look at the aftermath of the imprisonment of Japanese Americans in the deep south, the reality of prejudice, and the irony of identity, told through the words of one survivor, one rebel and one woman mayor. #WomenInFilm Showcase.

RElocation Arkansas

This powerful sophomore feature film by Justin Chon examines race and family set against the 1992 LA riots.  Just last week, Samuel Goldwyn Films announced the acquisition of the films North American rights. The film was both written and directed by JUSTIN CHON, and stars Chon, DAVID SO, Curtiss Cook Jr. and newcomer child actress SIMONE BAKER.

GOOK

Screenshot taken from Director Justin Chon’s Sophomore feature GOOK.

The LAAPFF is produced by the VISUAL COMMUNICATION Group. 

Visual Communications (VC) mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives. VC  is the first non-profit organization in the nation dedicated to the honest and accurate portrayals of the Asian Pacific American peoples, communities, and heritage through the media arts.  VC was created with the understanding that media and the arts are important vehicles to organize and empower communities, build connections between peoples and generations through the development of AAPI film, video, and media. The organization has created award-winning productions, nurtured and given voice to our youth and seniors, promoted new artistic talent, presented new cinema, and preserved our visual history.

Aside from hosting the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and their year‐round screenings and exhibitions, the VC Group also showcases the Armed With a Camera Fellowship for Emerging Media Artists; the Digital Histories media production and digital storytelling program for senior citizens; a Media Development Fund for independent filmmakers; and C3: The Conference for Creative Content.

Visual Communications is also home to the VC Archives, one of the largest photographic and moving image archives on the Asian Pacific experience in America. We see media as a powerful tool to create and share meaningful perspectives, and our programs ensure that the AAPI community has access to the resources tell their unique stories.

 

Tickets and information for this years LAAPFF:

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival

Follow them on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM

 

Scott PGA BEst1

Media Inc Magazine appoints Scott A. Capestany Editor-In-Chief

In an aggressive move by Media Inc Publishing, one of the longest running print publication companies in the Pacific Northwest with over 25 publications, General Manager of the group John Rusnak announced the appointment of Award Winning Film Producer and Indie Film business executive Scott A. Capestany to helm Media Inc Magazine as its new Editor-In-Chief.

Long before the internet, the publication began in the late 1980s as the sole media+film resource and news platform to complement the growing indie film scene in the Seattle, WA market and also to keep its readers up on film festival news, regional film productions and also help production crews members to find jobs.   Over the years, the publication circulated among a regional footprint throughout the Pacific Northwest stretching from Seattle to Portland and Eastern Washington as a well known staple among cinephites.

Early in 2015, Capestany was commissioned by the publication to write a few editorials on the current landscape of Film/TV productions in the region. His cover story “TOP influential Women in Film and Media in WA State” gained the attention of Indie Film communities that quickly led to multiple partnerships with film festivals, businesses and organizations whose mission statements supported spearheading Women In Film, gender equality and diversity throughout Hollywood.   “We are very excited to see Scott take this publication into the 21st century and look forward to seeing his new vision enhance the publications reach and growth”, said Rusnak.  MI Publishing ownership said they were quite confident in Scott’s abilities to carry the torch of the magazine and has no doubt his choice as the successor will bring exciting new content, readers and partnerships around the world for the first time in the company’s history.

Soon after taking the reigns of the magazine, Capestany invited trusted film industry colleague, film financier and Producers Guild of America member ANNE MARIE GILLEN into the fold to further support him in his quest to promote and connect with emerging and high profile Women in Film in Hollwood.  “Scott’s resilience and drive over the years and watching him grow as a reputable player in the business was more than enough to join his team.” Gillen said.  “Scott is quickly evolving into one of Hollywood’s premier Impact Producers.  His explosive energy, ability to quickly formulate partnerships across industry platforms and communicate with the new digital age filmmakers and players is impressive”.

We got a chance to sit down with our new fearless leader to share with us his vision for the future of MI Magazine.

MI:  Congrat’s on your new appointment!

Scott A. Capestany:  Thanks.  When the ownership group approached me, the timing just happened to be perfect.  I’m eager to focus my attention with the new appointment in building a new editorial and mobile support team that will support and stand behind the new branding of the publication including my ongoing advocacy for Women In Film and diversity within the creative space.  Another component I’m excited about is adding a sports and artist lifestyle segment to the publication that highlights the explosive new media growth in those spaces.  The ambition is to eventually offer more of an international scope of entertainment + media related content to our publication online to compliment and grow our print publication still in circulation from its original roots in the Pacific Northwest.  

MI:  Tell us more about the new direction of the publication and how it’s fitting into the new digital media space.

SAC:  One of the first things we tackled was enhancing our online social media engagement component for our readers.  We are now platforming our brand and editorial content aggressively and consistently on twitter.  Many of our followers and engagers are some of the industry’s most active and vocal supporters of our primary editorial content coverage – Indie Film + Women In Film + Diversity in the entertainment space.  Which helps with the growth of our audience and exposure for our partners and advertisers.  With industry news and press coverage PR now primarily being streamlined through the various digital platforms on smartphones and tablets, our plan is to continue to grow our audience through these new technologies.  Secondly, we are agressively partnering with top international and domestic film festivals as thier exclusive Media partner.  The partnerships and press coverage we have in place at high profile indiefilm meccas such as  Sundance, SXSW, AFM, Seattle International Film Festival and Whistler International Film Festival to mention a few, help bridge the gap of emerging filmmakers and creatives with the media world.  Showcasing unique aspects of their festivals and events that mainstream media skip over primarily on our online platforms (twitter @MediaIncMag) and quarterly print issues help connect more people to these unique film festivals and markets.  We are also slated to launch a series of interactive social experiences and events for our community through LIVE stream broadcasting and monthly mixers at our partners world wide film festivals  around the world.

MI:  How did you get involved in the Film/TV business?

SAC:  Shortly after attending a Sundance Film Festival in the early 2000s, I found myself drawn to the energy of this extraordinary tribe of creatives called ‘Indie Filmmakers’.  They all seemed to have this contagious “rebel” almost “maverick” approach to getting things done.  Doing what ever took with limited resources to get a film made, find an audience, buyer and move to the next project swiftly.  Thinking  outside the box and bucking the traditional ways of creating and presenting visual arts was what really drew me in.  I found a way to apply my business background to this newly discovered world of brilliant creative artists and help them.  That’s when the producer was born.  I knew that I had something to offer the indie film world both as a writer, creator and most importantly someone who could connect and educate these creatives on the ‘business’ components of the industry.   Unfortunately, there is a very low number of indie filmmakers that know very much about the business side of the industry.  It’s mostly all about art and expression for creatives.  It’s radically improved in the last 5 years with the explosion of digital technology tools now available for creatives to create, market and share their content by themselves.  So the timing was perfect for me when I arrived into the scene.   

MI:  How would you describe what is taking place in the current landscape of Film/TV production?

SAC:  I call it the ‘Perfect Storm’ with the three most important  components converging simultaneously and changing so rapidly. Technology, creativity and consumption.  I’d say 80% of the people my age gave up in this business because of the lighting speed technology and the time it takes to develop and foster professional relationships.  You can now pitch a complete stranger in a hotel lobby after a conference and within days they are investing in your endeavor and doing business with you.  Technology has helped bridge the gap of uncertainty in our business. I’m glad I stuck around for this amazing moment in time.  The growth curve for many these days is too much to stay on top of, thus they drop out and revert back to archaic business models that no longer work in the modern world.   Thanks to getting my first computer in 1981 for Christmas,  I’ve always been a “techie” kind of guy that’s had a computer and cell phone for 30+ years and stays on top of the new digital landscape.   Especially when it comes to engaging decision makers at the studio and network level as they mostly are in their 30s and grew up on technology.  So I speak their language quite well.  Applying and harnessing the latest technology allows me to navigate the terrain with ease and lightning speed efficiency.  Today’s landscape of film making truly is a manifestation of what I imagined it could become when I was a kid and young business professional in the 90s.  Most everything the imagination conceives in the story telling world now can be produced on screen for worldwide audiences.    And now in 2017, at a fraction of what it cost 5-10-15 years ago.

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Scott A. Capestany pitching ‘My silent Voice’ on stage at the VARIETY Faith Based Film Summit. He was 1 of 12 selected from around the world.

 

MI : What film projects are you involved in as a Producer now?

SAC: My team and I are involved in multiple projects in a variety of production stages including an action/adventure feature film THE RAINFOREST .  A story about a group of international explorers and scientists that set out to a South East Asian Rainforest to investigate a tribal legend and ancient lost civilization myth.  We also are working on a magical family film MY SILENT VOICE that’s about a young deaf girl, her love for horses and her heroic journey to the equine winners circle.  

HOME-SLIDER-IMAGES-Capestany Films

 One of my personal favorite projects that I’m a creator on is an adventurous live action TV series titled THE ADVENTURES OF SAMMIE DRAKE.   It’s a story about a young 9-year girl who just graduated from the 3rd grade and convinces her parents that she’s old enough to join the family treasure hunting business.  If you remember the adventures of Pippy Longstocking and the illuminating moxy of little Punky Brewster (of the 80s) with a dash of Nancy Drew mystery, then audiences and especially little girls will quickly identify and connect with Sammie and become fans of her and the brave adventures she undertakes.  Sammie’s bold and brave spirit allows her to do everything just as good and even better than the boys highlighting our support and advocacy of gender equality.   We are also developing both an APP and VR interactive products with this series similar to the Dora the explorer brand. 

MI: Tell us about your vision and new direction you are taking with MEDIA INC MAGAZINE.

SAC:  We are currently laser focused on re-branding the publication and designing effective “Impact” campaigns for our new generation of readers, influencers and strategic partners.  We’ve already partnered with multiple film festivals as their media affiliate providing coverage and connecting with indie filmmakers to help them promote their projects with solid press coverage.   It’s one thing to get a write-up on an unknown blog and another thing to get a write-up in a regional magazine print publication and have a professional digital link coming from that legitimate digital source.  One of the first things we jumped on was the social media platform that this publication had very little exposure on.  We’ve grown our twitter, IG and FB pages 500% since taking over and still primed for fresh new engagement daily.  So being a fresh new print publication in the digital world has worked to our advantage growing our communities and engagers.   We are already becoming a well known media publication outlet both Nationally and Internationally within the Indie film world.  We have already covered or been invited to cover Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca and  Cannes Film Festivals this year.   Which is allowing us to expand our coverage in new markets.  We are also very excited to add two new segments to the publication; SPORT and ARTIST LIFESTYLE focusing on stories of artists outside their creative lives and also sports stories that are intriguing and original.  Not typical sports reporting, but rather overview of how their leagues and organizations work together to engage the general public through new media. 

Media Inc Cover BEST with Scott

MI:  What is the current distribution, circulation and frequency of the magazine?

SAC:  We are a FREE quarterly print publication circulating around 5K+/- throughout the Pacific Northwest and West Coast Cities (Seattle, Portland, LA and global film festivals). We are strategically planning to expand circulation and take the publication to other creative markets through partnering with domestic and international film festivals, industry organizations and entertainment organizations. 

All photos, images, soundbites and writings of Scott A. Capestany are COPYRIGHTED and protected under US Copyright laws.

Scott is represented by Beverly Hills lawfirm Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman, LLP

You can follow MEDIA INC and CAPESTANY FILMS on Twitter/IG

For Scott’s full Biography – IMDB

 

 

 

TCM

Talent Agency Spotlight – TCM Talent of Seattle

TCM Models and Talent.  Established in 1979 byTerri Morgan, this SAG Franchised talent & management agency has been a long-standing fixture in the Seattle, WA market.  Terri was once a working model herself and had her hands in multiple projects both in front of the screen and behind the scene in fashion for over 30 years.  We sat down with Terri in her new penthouse office whose rooftop view offers one of the most majestic views of the Emerald City.

MI:  Tell us more about TCM

Terri: We’ve been in business since 1979 and been located in this same building since 1990.  We started out on the first floor for about 10 years, then relocated to the 5th floor for 16 years and now as you can see, we are now in this wonderful penthouse.  So it’s been kind fun…movin’ on up kinda like the Jefferson’s [referring to the TV series of the 70s].  Our new location has helped re-energized our staff tremendously and helps bring a fresh new perspective on our company’s goals.  There’s great energy when you arrive in our office to an early morning bright sunny Western Washington sunrise shining through our windows to get the day started.

MI: Tell us about your staff here at TCM

Terri: There are six of us that are full time here at TCM and one Part-timer.  I’m the Director of the agency in which I oversee everything from meeting with new and existing talent and working with them on career strategy and guiding them through the process of the business while keeping them in front of the technology and how brands and the industry is quickly evolving. I also oversee the model division that is another side to our business as well.  Our assistant director is Debbie Lehnherr who handles all the workings of the agency.  She calls herself the cage cleaner, but her role is much more operations oriented.  She does our in-house book keeping, accounting and payroll as we have an outside accounting firm that does the bigger stuff.  Debbie keeps us all on track while meeting with all our new models and talent, going over “what it takes” to success in the business and how we compliment their careers.  We’re not an agency that’s interested in finding new people and seeing if they work.  We strive to represent the most informed talent in the market.  Although we are not the one’s training them and teaching them on how to be good actors, but we want to help them become good business professionals.  So education and professional industry guidance for our talent truly are the cornerstones of our agency.

Raelene Plant is our talent booker where she works with our actors, talent and commercial models as far as anything that goes for video, TV film, print and industrials.  She also is the first contact with potential new talent coming into the agency and coordinates and oversees those meetings.  Raelene brings to TCM a great theater background with a Drama degree from the University of Washington where she can identify a good actor when they come in. She has a fantastic intuition when it comes to talent making it blessing to have her on the team. Kristi Morgan, who’s also my new daughter in law that recently married my son, runs our kids talent division and works with our models on the fashion print side including our new faces division.   Blair Morgan, my daughter, handles the models for fashion that is all live if it’s fashion shows, informal modeling, etc. and handles all our social media platforms.  Sheene Jewell is our assistant talent booker who handles the theatrical, special features small budget projects in town and any kind of extra work that we do.  Cheene brings great experience to us having worked with the Seattle International Film Festival and was a former model with us.  So she knows how the business side works.

 MI:  Tell us your thoughts on how the digital new media revolution has impacted your business.

Terri: Well, it’s been both a challenge and blessing for I think all of us in the industry.  When it comes to social media, talent has more access to what is going on in the industry through chat rooms and public posting for gigs.  So how TCM stands out, is that we specialize in educating our talent on how not to negotiate your own contracts and/or get involved with producers or clients.  Which ultimately creates a floundering relationship between talent and agent.  So, a big part of signing on and working with TCM is the benefit of having us managing their careers while professionally handling all the contracts and talent negotiations, like it should be.  As far as how technology has helped us, we are at the cutting edge of regional and national casting breakdowns that are all now digital.  Each of our talent has their own unique digital profile that we update regularly and use as a valuable tool in this new era of digital technology.

MI:  How are you developing your theatrical division in regards to the smaller film/web projects that are prevalent in the Seattle film industry.

Terri:  Although most all of the smaller projects in this market yield very little pay both for the agent and talent, I saw a way for our pool of artists to develop their craft to complement their ongoing training and workshops that they may be involved in around town.  Sheene, who heads up this division, has become well versed with both the new media and low-budget SAG contracts for our talent which gives our them additional opportunities to develop their skills on smaller film sets and web series that are now becoming a new platform for actors.  Offering smaller SAG productions to our talent gives us an inside look at to what producers we want to work with and recommend to our talent.  And most importantly, these projects often times help nurture this markets emerging actors and filmmakers along the way.

TCM is a registered SAG Signatory business.  For talent and booking inquires visit www.tcmmodels.com

Follow TCM on TWITTER + IG + FACEBOOK

Scilla Andreen

WA State’s Most Influential Women in Film, TV and new Media

Scott A. CapestanyBy Scott A. Capestany Editor-In-Chief

Over the past few years, a growing band of Pacific Northwest talented and fierce female creatives have taken the regional community of independent film, TV, media and music by storm. This two-part cover story takes us into the hearts and minds of some of Washington’s and Oregon’s most admired and influential women who have helped pave the way on how we consume media, create films/music, produce visual art (films) and empower others through their creative and artistic talents. Their work today continues to push the limits of innovation by contributing to the ever-growing and quickly-evolving landscape of our region’s multi-media sector. We are proud to call these women ‘our own.’ But most importantly, so very grateful for what they do for others through their leadership, inspiration and love within our communities.

For part one of this cover story, we are honored and excited to commemorate the careers and achievements of 18 unique and fascinating women from Washington State within the world of film, TV, media and creativity. Highlighting their profound and worthy contributions is just one factor we took into consideration. The other, which is equally important throughout the process of creative collaboration, is the leadership and teamwork skills that each of them have so admirably displayed over the years. Our selection is not in any order of significance, but rather a collective equal presentation celebrating women pioneers that have fought hard in their professions, stepped outside the box, made their voices heard and, most importantly, become game-changers that continue to push for equality and women empowerment in the entertainment space.

Congratulations to these outstanding women from the Pacific Northwest, and be sure to look for part two of this story, which will feature women in film from Los Angeles, in the next issue of Media Inc.

SCILLA ANDREEN, co-founder and CEO of Seattle-based IndieFlix, has truly become one of the most iconic empresses of women empowerment and influence within the world of indie filmmaking.

Scilla Andreen

Scilla Andreen

What Variety magazine calls ‘the Netflix of indie films,’ IndieFlix is now the world’s premier online indie film streaming service that specifically provides a platform for content representing independent thinkers, offering a unique and never-before-seen distribution and revenue model for filmmakers. Content that is featured on the IndieFlix platform allows filmmakers to get paid through metrics involving ‘minutes viewed’ and most recently can now access all their films’ data of their actual viewing audience.

“We created IndieFlix with the filmmaker in mind first that offered more than just a platform for showcasing their finished films,” Andreen said. Currently now in beta  testing, IndieFlix filmmakers can for the first time have access to all the necessary data as to who, where, and how consumers are viewing their content, which she believes is a game-changer in the industry.

As a veteran entrepreneur, Andreen’s work over the past two decades as an Emmy-nominated costume designer, award-winning filmmaker, producer, popular speaker, international film festival juror and dedicated advocate of independent film has helped open up doors and inspired millions of creative artists, both in front of and behind the camera. Her recent empowerment documentary project run through her IndieFlix foundation, which highlights ordinary women doing extraordinary things, recently returned home to Washington State after making a national tour around the country featuring a band of young female filmmakers interviewing and highlighting other women’s empowering stories. The documentary now is being screened at hundreds of schools across the nation. Her current project Screenagers is a fascinating look into today’s youth and their usage of digital technology, directed by Seattle physician and award-winning filmmaker Delaney Rustin. Visit www.indieflix.com and www.screenagersmovie.com for more.

Having made five of her six feature films in Washington State, our next featured woman of influence likely doesn’t need a formal introduction. If you have your eye on Pacific Northwest filmmaking or have attended any major local film festival or event, writer/director LYNN SHELTON has essentially embodied what women in film and Washington State filmmaking have become. Along with her good friend and Seattle producer Mel Eslyn, Shelton feels there needs to be a greater effort by Washington State legislation to see the value and benefit of making films and TV shows in Washington.

“The thing about the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program is that it’s so beautifully engineered and designed to benefit the Washington State economy and professional filmmakers,” said Shelton. “In fact, Washington State was the first state ever to create a film incentive that included union standards, like pension health benefits.”

Lynn Shelton

Lynn Shelton

Spending half her time in L.A., Shelton works both as a writer and director for a number of well-known network and studio projects. Her work has been seen on Netflix, Showtime, Fox and 20th Century TV in episodes of series such as Mad Men, Shameless, Master of None, Fresh Off the Boat, New Girl and Maron.

Shelton also feels that it is a very unique time for women in film. “I believe that we as women are upon a very special moment that I hope is not wasted,” she said. “A moment of opportunity… that I hope is not wasted.” Now that the conversation of women in film and the lack of gender diversity among directors in Hollywood has been brought to the forefront of the media, Shelton senses a much more profound willingness and actual  desire of women wanting to change the pattern by hopefully enhancing the numbers of women directors at large in the workplace. Shelton is actively pushing to bring her next feature to the Evergreen State, produced with our next featured woman of influence and her good friend, Mel Eslyn.

One of the most decorated and hard-working independent film producers from Washington State is MEL ESLYN. Having begun working on movie sets at the age of 14, Eslyn’s resilient and admirable work ethic has spanned two decades, leading her to producing over 15 films, including 3 of Lynn Shelton’s 6 major feature films. Over the last handful of years, she has produced a series of feature films that have screened at some of the world’s top film festivals, including Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca and SXSW. She recently won the prestigious Piaget Producers Award at the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards that honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films. The annual award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

Mel Eslyn

Mel Eslyn

“One of the biggest hurdles for me as a producer has been my ability to bring more of my films to Seattle. Once projects reach a certain budget, a state film incentive comes into play quite significantly as to where the film is made,” Eslyn said. “It’s my goal in the next year to bring at least one, if not two, feature films to our market that in turn will help bring more awareness to legislation to see the huge benefits a feature film has on impacting local community’s business and economy.” One of Eslyn’s biggest contributions to the Washington State film scene over the years has been her loyalty to her crew and co-workers. Although a number of her films have been filmed outside of Washington State, she brings along many local crew people to work alongside her.

When it comes to connecting the Pacific Northwest’s growing pool of talented actors, casting director NIKE IMORU, CSA, is the one woman who not only gets the job done, but is counted on by the leading producers throughout Washington and now in Los Angeles to find the most talented performers in film and TV. Nike, pronounced “Nee-Kay,” has been a professional casting director in Washington for over 10 years and currently is the lead casting director for the state’s largest recurring cable TV series, Z Nation.

Nike Imoru

Nike Imoru

“It’s been my goal ever since I began casting to offer more to actors during the casting process than what typically they would get during an audition,” Imoru said. Known around the region as a true “actors coach,” she is a classically trained professional theater actor herself who hails from the U.K., where she also taught acting at a few prestigious schools before becoming a full-time CSA. She recently opened up a state-of-the-art casting studio facility in West Seattle, where she will be spending most of 2016 casting and supporting Z Nation. Visit www.nikeimorucasting.com or find Nike Imoru Casting on Facebook: ‘Act with Inspiration.’

With approximately 45 film festivals and competitions each year for filmmakers and folks to attend around the state, STEFANIE MALONE, executive director of the world’s largest youth film festival NFFTY, helms a quite impressive and quickly growing international festival in downtown Seattle each spring. Now in its 10th year, NFFTY (National Film Festival for Talented Youth) receives over 950 submissions from over 20 countries around the world made by youth filmmakers between the ages of 5 and 25.

Stefanie Malone

Stefanie Malone

An Emmy Award-winning producer herself, Malone’s work in the PBS arena for many years led her to Seattle, where she became the community engagement and education director for Seattle’s local PBS affiliate, KCTS. Although her full-time commitment to NFFTY year-round occupies most of her bandwidth, her ongoing relationship with KCTS and WETA (the Washington, D.C. PBS affiliate) allows her to pursue her true passion and love for developing and producing documentaries. “It’s hard to leave PBS entirely after being with them so long, so I’m grateful I can continue to work within that space where I still think it is an excellent platform for filmmakers to showcase their films and TV shows,” Malone said. Her team of likeminded leaders and growing numbers of supporting staff at NFFTY has allowed the festival to expand its annual events and festival offerings to the public. Visit www.nffty.org.

Working for the City of Seattle as executive director for the Film+Music Office, KATE BECKER leads a staff of seven who oversee a multitude of resources and permitting activities that help facilitate filmmakers, musicians and special events. Whether it be a feature film, TV series, commercial or new media production that involves city parks or hundreds of locations run by the city, Becker’s team truly is the ‘one-stop shop’ for the professional filmmaker. Each year, the city issues over 400 film permits for projects filmed in and around the city.

Prior to working with the city, Becker served in leadership roles at Kate BeckerSeattle Theatre Group, Art Share L.A. in Los Angeles, and the New Art Center in Newton, Massachusetts. She co-founded Seattle’s Vera Project and the Old Fire House, nonprofit art- and music-based all-ages venues that have helped build Seattle’s creative economy talent pipeline. Becker has also produced more than 1,000 all-ages shows and numerous major fundraisers and galas. Talking about women in film, Becker said, “I’m so happy to work in a market (WA State) where so many talented women are leading our local industry by producing and creating exceptional content which is a true feather in our cap.”

Becker also works quite diligently as one of Washington State’s top interactive advocates for helping bring new filmmakers to the state from around the world while attending national and international festivals and markets. “We are excited the members of the film industry are actively convening in pursuit of a production facility to be located in Seattle,” she said. “Something like this could do wonders for the film/TV and media landscape.” Visit www.seattle.gov/filmandmusic.

As co-founder and owner of Mighty Tripod Productions (MTP), one of Seattle’s most respected actor development, management and indie production companies, ANGELA DiMARCO truly has become an empowering woman of influence, both in front of and behind the camera. With a genuine heart to help others (she is known as ‘Mama DiMarco’ among her circle), she helps mentor and prepare actors for the rigorous road of working in the business.

Angela DiMarco

Angela DiMarco

“MTP is an evolution of who I was, growing up without having quality training and mentorship that I believe is a major cornerstone of becoming a professional artist,” said DiMarco, who runs the company with her talented and award-winning husband David Hogan, who himself has over two decades of theater, film, TV and talent leadership under his belt.

“David and I wanted to create a platform in Mighty Tripod Productions for Northwest actors taught by Northwest actors, available to all ages to hone their craft, build their confidence and, most of all, be mighty,” she added. You can find DiMarco on all social media channels under Mighty Tripod Productions, her own hashtag #dontwaitcreate and at www.mightytripod.com.

Once a creative artist decides he or she wants to take the plunge into the world of acting or modeling in the Seattle area, TERRI MORGAN’s TCM Models and Talent Agency would be considered by many one of the most well-known and reputable agencies in the state. Starting up in 1979 as a modeling agency over in Eastern Washington, Morgan decided to take her love for helping others within the industry to Seattle and opened up a new location downtown in 1990, where they remain today. By 1998, her well-seasoned staff established a new talent division that has provided actors opportunities in commercials, feature films, TV series and new media requiring on-camera talent.

Terri Morgan

Terri Morgan

“Coming from a modeling background myself, I know how hard it can be to break into the business not knowing how to navigate the oftentimes intimidating and rigorous demand of the business or how the auditioning and selection process works,” she said. “TCM specializes in counseling and advising talent by offering a well-developed road map for actors and models to utilize if they choose to enhance their careers.” Visit TCM at www.tcmmodels.com.

One of Washington State’s best known features is its rich and vibrant Native American culture and history. Our next woman of influence has spent over a decade developing an awareness  and sensitivity to the power of media and film as a modern storytelling tool for local communities, primarily the indigenous people of the region. As co-founder and executive director of Longhouse Media, now in their 11th year, TRACY RECTOR (Choctaw/Seminole Tribe) has produced over 350 film shorts, worked with over 40 tribes from around the United States, and has served over 3,000 youths by bringing filmmaking tools to tribal students from around the country to help them tell their own stories. Her work has been featured by Cannes Film Festival, ImagineNative and National Geographic’s All Roads Film Project, while also leading the first filmmaking team from Seattle to have a documentary on PBS’ Independent Lens and appearing in the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian. Not to mention, she’s a recent Sundance Film Institute Lab fellow participant and Tribeca Film Festival all-access grantee to boot.

Tracy Rector

Tracy Rector

Aside from being an award-winning director/producer and advocate, Rector developed and launched the quite successful educational program ‘SuperFly,’ a program that challenged students to create 5 films in 36 hours, which then screened in conjunction with the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF).

“SIFF’s decade-long collaborating with Tracy on ‘SuperFly’ was an exceptional opportunity that not only provided exemplary training and experience to youth across cultures, but built bridges between the Native community and their neighbors from cities across the USA. Today, Tracy’s new ‘4th World’ program continues that depth of intent, as we are proud to be working with her to fill the need for additional training for up-and-coming Native filmmakers,” said Dustin Kaspar, education director at SIFF.

Rounding off her admirable leadership throughout the communities of the Puget Sound, Rector currently sits as City of Seattle Arts Commissioner.

“My vision is to bring traditional and contemporary education together on a foundation based in environmental stewardship,” said Rector. As a monthly series, her ‘Indigenous Showcase’ program at the Northwest Film Forum also blends culture with community. She added, “The Indigenous Showcase program screens films made by Native Americans or in part supported by the Native American community.” Read more about Rector at www.longhousemedia.org and www.clearwaterstories.org.

Abby Dylan

Abby Dylan

With the growing number of actors and performers living and arriving to Seattle, ABBY DYLAN is a woman whose lengthy multi-decade experience in the industry has landed her passionate voice for actors at the top of the most prestigious organizations in show business. Dylan is an elected member of the SAG-AFTRA Board, where she serves as the National Chairman of the SAGIndie Committee and ViceChair of the Legislative Committee. In addition, she is also a director of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Board, and was appointed to serve on the Board of Washington Filmworks by both Governor Christine Gregoire and Governor Jay Inslee. In 2016, Dylan also was appointed to the Board of the SAG Foundation as their new secretary. For more, visit www.sagaftra.org, www.sagindie.org, and www.washingtonfilmworks.org.

Every spring, Seattle ushers in one of the biggest and longest-running city-wide events, the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Ranked as one of the top film festivals in the world, SIFF showcases over 450 films, shorts and documentaries from over 80 countries throughout a 25-day odyssey. BETH BARRETT, director of programming, spearheads the division along with her team of staffers and volunteers that help formulate the line-up and presentation of films each year. Barrett has been with SIFF since 2003, joining as an intern in communications and quickly moving along into the programming division. Over the course of her tenure, she has watched SIFF grow from 5 staff to now over 25 full-time staffers.

Programming essentially works with the incoming filmmakers each Beth Barrettyear, streamlines communication between programmers and watches hundreds of films leading up to the festival with the objective of bringing the best films they can find from around the world and our own region to screen in Seattle. To help local filmmakers from Washington State showcase their films on an international platform, SIFF offers a unique ‘Northwest Connections’ showcasing. “The program is designed to help elevate local filmmakers to international attention that essentially represent a microcosm of the work being done by Pacific Northwest artists with projects of all types of films, genres, styles and lengths,” Barrett said.

Her commitment to bring some of the best films from around the world made by women is a top priority while paying close attention to her final design of the festival’s programming. “It’s really important to me to have women from all around the world represented here at SIFF on an equal footing every year,” said Barrett.

Be sure to mark your calendars for May for this spectacular presentation of world cinema right here in Seattle by visiting www.siff.net for all the events, parties and screenings.

Recently winning the ‘Best TV Personality’ award put on by KING 5 in 2015, ANNY HAVLAND has been making a huge splash in the world of online empowerment through her uplifting reality TV/Web series called Talk It Up TV. Originally from Bellingham, Havland came to Seattle to explore more opportunities using her magical gift of connecting and inspiring others. In 2010, she co-founded and now produces her own series that boasts over 5,000 YouTube subscribers from all around the world.

Anny Havland

Anny Havland

Talk It Up TV is a new style of media that is reality TV at its best with a positive twist. Instead of reporting and highlighting negative tragedies, we share these real-life stories with our viewers and create a positive ending to each story with a shocking act of kindness that are unforgettable,” Havland said. Each episode is lined with a powerful, very uplifting and heartfelt message that offers a life-changing experience for the individual. Visit Havland online at www.talkituptv.com or by using the hashtag #tiuarmy.

One of Seattle’s most dynamic documentary filmmakers is ROSALIE MILLER. Her handful of films she has produced in just the last five years have screened at over 100 film festivals worldwide under her own banner, Wanderhouse Productions. Her independent production company focuses on producing micro-budget narrative and documentary projects with an emphasis on digital media production. The Wanderhouse website boasts: “We are dedicated to creative collaboration, compelling storytelling, and subject matter intended to inspire others.”

Rosalie Miller

Rosalie Miller

Miller’s resilient and fierce approach to the filmmaking process radiates wherever she goes with quite vocal and well-developed skills in pitching, fundraising and audience engagement. Her feature-length documentary Personhood (now in post-production), which documents the burgeoning personhood movement and the far-reaching impact of laws designed to protect the fetus, won both the Women in Film Seattle Professional Grant and the 2015 American Documentary Film Fund.

Aside from her work behind the camera, Miller is a member of SAG-AFTRA and is a well-known actress who has appeared in dozens of feature-length films, shorts, commercials and TV series in Washington State. Miller is currently in production on her next documentary, an intimate portrait piece about Seattle-based dance artist and drag queen, Jody Kuehner (aka Cherdonna Shinatra). Visit www.wanderhouseproductions.com and www.personhoodmovie.com for more.

Producer LEAH WARSHAWSKI has over a decade of experience in film and TV production. Warshawski has worked on some of TV’s biggest series, including Lost, Survivor and Alias. She recently wrapped her own feature-length documentary Big Sonia, which in 2015 won the prestigious $50,000 film grant award given annually by True Productions in partnership with the Seattle International Film Festival.

Leah Warshawski with her doc subject and grandmother, Sonia.

Leah Warshawski with her doc subject and grandmother, Sonia.

“The process of documentary filmmaking is becoming more about the films’ campaigns than just about the actual movie being made,” Warshawski said. “Big Sonia has been a story I’ve always wanted to tell about my own grandmother. So we decided early on to develop a nationwide campaign for major cities that would also educate and involve local communities around the country surrounding her story.”

Warshawski also is currently working with local filmmakers Jo Ardinger and Rosalie Miller on the doc Personhood as producer. “When Jo approached me to join the team, I just couldn’t say no because of the impact I knew this film would make on our communities and country,” she added. Her current projects can be found at www.bigsonia.com.

RYAN DAVIS is a professional film publicist, communications specialist and co-founder of Seattle’s Smarthouse Creative. With over 30 years of combined experience in film marketing, publicity, distribution, programming and exhibition, Smarthouse Creative helps filmmaking teams find their audiences and bring attention to their work during all phases of their projects, from fundraising to festivals to distribution. They also work with select film festivals, non-profits and startups to deliver digital strategy, publicity and audience engagement services to position clients at the forefront of their respective industries.

Ryan Davis

Ryan Davis

For over a decade, Davis has worked in nearly every aspect of the film business including documentary film producing, film festivals, distribution, exhibition and sales. She and Smarthouse have placed multiple projects on media platforms such as HBO, CNN, The
New York Times, newspapers and local radio. Independent film projects that Smarthouse has run PR/marketing on have screened all over the world. Prior to Smarthouse, Davis served as a marketing leader for multiple non-profit arts groups and organizations including the Northwest Film Forum and Northwest Folklife.

Smarthouse Creative gets Media Inc.’s vote for best local indie film PR & marketing firm! Visit  www.smarthousecreative.com.

If there is one woman creative in Seattle that personifies the fastest and hardest-working bird on earth—the hummingbird—it most certainly is producer/actor LORRAINE MONTEZ. For over a decade, Montez has appeared in over 20 films as an actress and over a dozen films as producer. She is known widely in the local film community for her unlimited amount of energy and drive she pours into her daily routine as a filmmaker, educator, mentor and actor.

Lorainne Montez

Lorainne Montez

After noticing that fewer roles were being offered in film and TV to more mature women as a performer in the local market, she took the initiative to begin writing and soon formed her own production company, Abundant Productions. “I strongly believe in the laws of attraction,” Montez said. “I wanted to create a company that would attract goodness, abundance and creativity.” A recent feature film she produced under her Abundant flagship, The Hollow One, was acquired by Raven Banner Entertainment for international and domestic distribution.

Montez has been a vocal and active member of Women in Film for many years and recently served as the marketing and communication chairwoman for WIF Seattle. As a producer who feels there needs to be a bigger pool of well-educated filmmakers in the art of marketing and producing skills, Montez also instructs a marketing and producing class at Shoreline Community College. She also heads up a monthly workshop called Abundant Creative Playground, a platform where writers and professional actors come together in an interactive creative setting to enhance literary material. It’s a process she calls “disrupting the writing process in a productive and unique way.” Find out more at www.abundantproductions.net.

Award-winning journalist MAUREEN FRANCISCO is a woman whose journey into the world of TV and media has been quite unique. After arriving from the Philippines as a young girl to Federal Way, Washington, she learned to speak English by watching the nightly news. Fascinated by The Oprah Winfrey Show, Francisco was quickly inspired to pursue a career in journalism, which led her to an early career working for major network affiliates (CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX) around the country as a news reporter after graduating from Pacific Lutheran University. Upon her return to the Puget Sound in 2004, Francisco continued her work in TV at Northwest Cable News.

Maureen Francisco

Maureen Francisco

By 2013, she joined her husband as co-executive producer of NW Productions. Their company produces live shows, including the Pacific Northwest qualifying events for the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants from Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington
States. “We coordinate and produce all of the events for both pageants in our region including doing the PR for our title holders and contestants under a separate division of NW Productions,” Francisco said. “We are in charge of procuring sponsors, selecting judges, screening contestants for eligibility requirements and finding our host venues.”

NW Productions also produces red carpet events, women empowerment workshops, and reality/talk show programming throughout the Puget Sound. Visit www.maureenfrancisco.com.

With 1 in every 10 Americans now using online dating services, the number of people looking for love online has never been greater. SUSIE LEE, CEO and founder of the dating app Siren, took things into her own hands a few years ago by creating an entirely new approach to the virtual world of online dating. “Our members set the tone of our community; we focus on connections that matter in a respectful space,” said Lee. “Siren is a platform where wit and personality shine.” Lee’s brainchild won the App of the Year by GeekWire in 2015, and recently landed an additional $500,000 in funding to help expand their 20,000 membership base and operations.

Susie Lee

Susie Lee

The app works quite differently than most apps, in that members receive a “Question of the Day” asked by artists and other types of creatives in the local community. The questions ignite conversations, which in turn promote members to uncover their true personalities organically, rather than with a generic profile and photo.

A graduate of Yale, Columbia and UW with degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, science education, and art, Lee uses her skills as a social sculptor to amplify humanity in technology. Her work has been collected by numerous institutions including the Denver Art Museum, Mitchell Center for the Arts, Frye Art Museum, and Crystal Bridges Museum of Art. For more, go to www.susiejlee.com.

We invite you to learn more about the women of influence within TV, film and media as we continue our coverage in our next issue, which will feature women from the state of Oregon.

Features writer Scott A. Capestany is an award-winning producer, educator and advocate for women in film. Visit him at www.capestanyfilms.com and all social media platforms @capestanyfilms. Email producer@capestanyfilms.com.

©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Joseph Viles/FOX.

Lee Daniels shares about his tough childhood + surviving in Hollywood – SXSW 17′

As our coverage of the SXSW Film Festival continues, it was somewhat fitting for Lee Daniels (Precious, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Empire) to arrive without a speech prepared as a keynote speaker Sunday morning.  Heck, even the big boy’s/girl’s in the biz have to ‘wing it’ some days.   Shooting somewhat from the hip using his smooth and brilliant comedic timing, Daniels chatted about a wide range of things from Prince to the current President of the United States.  But what captivated the audience most, was what he said about his childhood and growing up as a survivor of the AIDS crisis in Hollywood.

“We are in difficult times”, he said about the new Trump administration. “This man is where he is – a reflection of who we are.  He is our karma. I’m trying to explain this to my son. It’s hard to be a dad and hard to be a black dad.”

Daniels hinted that the new Trump era will be good for the overall health and growth of the creative community. “I think some of the best art, literature, writing will come out of all this [The recent election] I couldn’t sleep, but I wrote some of the best work I have ever done. I was in pain.”

Bringing it closer to home, Daniels shared personal struggles he has endeared over the course of his career talking about his abusive father and ‘tough as nails’ grandmother.  Daniels, who is openly gay, also talked about basing his EMPIRE character Cookie Lyon on her.

With some ‘tough love’ words his grandmother told him: “You’re a faggot, black and life isn’t going to easy”, Daniels shared how it was a miracle he survived after coming to LA during the AIDS crisis while watching many of his friends die and getting hooked on drugs himself.  “I just can’t figure it out [how I survived]”.

What surely inspired the packed audience of emerging Hollywood creatives and ‘hustlers’ in the business doing whatever it takes to survive before their first break, Daniels talked about his job at a nursing company.  “It was no different than pimping.”, which sparked laughter in the crowd. “I went from making a few hundred dollars a week to a million dollars..It was crazy”, he said.

After spotting ‘Precious’ star Gabourey Sidibe among the crowd,  He brought her to the stage and joked about how she was upset at Daniels for not casting her in more episodes of his ‘Empire’

Daniels shared in his closing statements about his grateful appreciation for the business by being much more humble these days with all his success. “I’m a vessel here to pass things on to people better than me”.  He said

Photo of Lee Daniels By SXSW 

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SXSW 17′ – Women In Film: From Her POV

press_scottcapestany_mediaincmagazine

Editor In ChiefScott A. Capestany

March 9, 2017 – Austin, Texas

The 24th edition of the SXSW Film Festival opens this week in Austin, Texas.  With over 125 feature films screening, 84 World Premiers, 11 North American Premiers and 6 US Premiers will be presented.

To continue our coverage of highlighting and supporting the visual works by #WomenInFilm within the Independent film space around the world,  Media Inc Magazine congratulates the 80+ Women Directors & female Co-Directors whom will showcase their films and/or visual works of art  at #SXSX this year!

To begin (more category’s below), here’s a full comprehensive look at each feature length film (in competition) @SXSW this year Written and/or Directed by WOMEN.  Each film title is linked to all screenings + filmmakers bios + cast + crew. (Links and brief descriptions courtesy of SXSW)

Feature Length Competition

World Premieres- Selected from 1,407 narrative feature submissions in 2017.

A Critically Endangered Species

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Poland, United States –  World Premiere
Directors/Screenwriters: Zachary Cotler, Magdalena Zyzak –
An internationally respected poet announces she is going to kill herself and needs an heir and executor. Young writers drive up the mountain to compete for the position and are challenged intellectually, emotionally, and erotically. Cast: Lena Olin, Rosanna Arquette, Jordan Gavaris, Alexander Koch, Nathan Keyes, Chris Voss.

Fits and Starts

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World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Laura Terruso – @Fits_andStarts 
A struggling writer can’t seem to escape his wife’s literary success. When a road trip to a publisher’s salon takes an unexpected turn, he has to face his own creative shortcomings and find a way to regain control of his life and work. Cast: Wyatt Cenac, Greta Lee, Maria Dizzia, Alex Karpovsky, Ben Sinclair, Onur Turkel, John Rothman, Louis Cancelmi, Larry Murphy, Sam Seder.

The Light of the Moon

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World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Jessica M. Thompson –@TLOTMfilm  @jess_m_thompson
After her world is irrevocably changed, a successful New York City architect struggles to regain intimacy and control in her life. Cast: Stephanie Beatriz, Michael Stahl-David, Conrad Ricamora, Catherine Curtin, Olga Merediz, Cindy Cheung, Susan Heyward, Craig Walker, Cara Loften, Michael Cuomo.

MFA

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World Premiere
Director: Natalia Leite /  Screenwriter: Leah Mckendrick –@_natalialeite_
The accidental death of her rapist sets an art student on a course for justice, fueling the inspiration for her thesis exhibition. Cast: Francesca Eastwood, Clifton Collins Jr, Peter Vack, Leah Mckendrick, Marlon Young, David Sullivan, Michael Welch.

Most Beautiful Island

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Writer, Director, Producer and Actor Ana Asensio

Spain, United States – World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Ana Asensio – @AnaAsensio1
An undocumented young woman struggling to begin a new life in New York City is offered an opportunity she can’t pass up. But as day turns to night she discovers she’s been lured to the center of a dangerous game. Cast: Ana Asensio, Natasha Romanova, David Little, Nicholas Tucci, Larry Fessenden, Caprice Benedetti.

The Strange Ones

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World Premiere
Directors: Lauren Wolkstein, Christopher Radcliff, Screenwriter: Christopher Radcliff – @thestrangeones  @laurenwolkstein
Mysterious events surround the travels of two brothers as they make their way across a remote American landscape. On the surface all seems normal, but what appears to be a simple vacation soon gives way to dark and complex truths. Cast: Alex Pettyfer, James Freedson-Jackson, Emily Althaus, Gene Jones.

Documentary Feature Competition

Bill Frisell, A Portrait

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Australia – World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Emma Franz
An intimate, behind-the-music portrait of one of the most unassuming yet influential creative artists of our time, guitarist Bill Frisell. Frisell said of the film, “It’s like the inside of my brain!” 

I Am Another You

i-am-another-you_NAnfu Wang

World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Nanfu Wang – @iaayfilm  @wangnanfu
Through the eyes of a young drifter who rejects society’s rules and intentionally chooses to live on the streets, Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang explores the meaning of personal freedom – and its limits.

Maineland

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China, United States- World Premiere
Director: Miao Wang – @mainelandfilm  @miaowang
Chinese teenagers from the wealthy elite, with big American dreams, settle into a boarding school in small-town Maine. As their fuzzy visions of the American dream slowly gain more clarity, their relationship to home takes on a poignant new aspect.

Mommy Dead and Dearest

mommy-dead-and-dearest

World Premiere
Director: Erin Lee Carr – @erinleecarr
Child abuse, mental illness, and forbidden love converge in this mystery involving a mother and daughter who were thought to be living a fairy tale life that turned out to be a living nightmare.

Served Like A Girl

served-like-a-girl

World Premiere
Director: Lysa Heslov – @servedlikeagirl 
Five women veterans who have endured unimaginable trauma in service create a shared sisterhood to help the rising number of stranded homeless women veterans by entering a competition that unexpectedly catalyzes moving events in their own lives.

The Secret Life of Lance Letscher

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World Premiere
Director: Sandra Adair – @LLetscherdoc  @sadair20
Witness the collision of memory, color, and chaos in this unprecedented journey through the visionary mind of collage artist Lance Letscher.

Here’s the breakdown numbers of ALL #WomenInFilm projects directed or co-directed by #SXSW female creatives this year:

Narrative Features -20, Documentary Features – 15, Narrative Shorts – 14, Animated Shorts – 7, Documentary Shorts: 6, Music Videos – 5,  Texas High School – 14, Virtual Reality – 10+, Series – 1

Editor-In-Chief Scott A. Capestany is an Award Winning Film/TV content creator, writer and producer. Scott’s recent appointment to EIC has led to a full re-banding of the 20+ year publication running into a national and soon to be global Independent + Sport + Music + Art publication.  As a devout and long time advocate of #WomenInFilm and #Diversity in the industry, Scott’s ambition is to help women filmmakers and artists of under represented groups have an equal and strong voice in Hollywood.  He is represented by Bloom, Hergott, Diemer, Rosenthal, Laviolette, Feldman, Schenkman & Goodman, LLP in Beverly Hills, CA

Followed Scott @MediaIncMag + @CapestanyFilms