Category Archives: Featured Articles

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Whistler Film Festival primed for EPIC winter showcase!

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Scott A. Capestany Editor In Chief

Whistler, BC – Winter 2016

The 16th Annual Whistler Film Festival (WFF) will kick offs this week welcoming cinema fans and filmmaker creatives  to the winter wonderland playground of Whistler Blackcomb Resort packed with new films, VIP guests,  panel discussions and industry events. The Whistler Film Festival will feature an international  film competition with a industry summit of events devoted to the collaborative process of movie making in the 21st century digital age.

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WFF combines an esteemed film competition with an intimate industry Summit that in 2015 attracted 13,332 attendees including 855 industry delegates. To recognize the vitality of the art form, WFF 2016 will feature ten juried competitive sections with 15 awards and one audience award selected from up to 1,000 submissions. Approximately 90 films from Canada and around the world (including 45 features and 45 shorts) will be presented.

Oscar-winning filmmaker John Madden is poised to receive the Maverick Award for directing during the festival.  His recognition takes place as he brings his latest film, Miss Sloane, starring Jessica Chastain, to the festival.  Madden is best known for his 1999 best picture Oscar winner Shakespeare in Love.

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Director John Madden

Madden will join a talent lineup in Whistler that includes Alan Thicke, who is bringing his latest movie, It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway; Middle Man’s Jim O’Heir; Amy Jo Johnson, director of The Space Between; and Menorca star Tammy Gillis.

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Oscars Best Picture favorite this year La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, will open the Festival on November 30th.

Over the years, WFF has established an impressive track record for launching new films and filmmakers, and has earned a reputation as a ‘filmmakers festival’ through its coveted competitions and non-competitive sections that celebrate the best in independent Canadian and world cinema. Did you know that WFF features the second largest cash and commission festival prize for a Canadian film in the country? Over $150,000 in Cash and prizes will go out in 2016!

The Whistler Film Festival has been recognized as ‘Canada’s coolest film festival’, ‘one of the top 30 film festivals in the world’ by Variety, ‘Whistler’s Best Arts & Cultural Event of 2013 & 2014’ by Whistler’s Pique News magazine, and is consistently rated as one of the top film festivals in the country by film fans and filmmakers alike.

WFF’s full schedule and guest lineup are now available at whistlerfilmfestival.com. Festival’s online box office at TICKETS and PASSES is now open for VIP patron passes, industry passes, ticket packages, and festival credentials.  The festival box office is now open for phone sales (1-877-838-FILM) and on Nov. 25 for walk-up sales.

Media Inc Magazine is honored to partner with one of Whistler’s leading hotel properties The Aava Whistler Hotel  during the 2016 Whistler Film Festival this year.  We are honored to have them host our Whistler Filmmaker reception Friday night.  The Aava has received a certificate of excellence from TRIP ADVISOR and voted by ‘real people’ as a top destination hotel at Whistler for from 2012-2016.  Guests of the Hotel have access to their complimentary GoPro Hero 4 HD cameras to capture their holiday on video and images while in Whistler.

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Filmmakers with festival badges and their guests can RSVP HERE.  ** Limited Capacity **

Event is presented by WHISTLER BREWING ,  WHISTLER BUNGEE and Canadian Wilderness Adventures.  Come enjoy some ice cold Canadian Beer, win some door prizes  and view some of the #WFF2016 Trailers!  Follow us on Twitter @MediaInMag for daily details on #WFF2016 and their high altitude events!

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The Aava Whistler Hotel

The US Dollar is the strongest it’s been in over a decade meaning American’s visiting Canada can experience awesome savings!  Check out the current EXCHANGE RATE courtesy of Whistler Blackcomb.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS NHL HOCKEY!

If you are planning on heading up to the film festival early, might consider attending the Tuesday November 29th home hockey game at ROGERS ARENA in downtown Vancouver.  We had the opportunity to take a full tour of the facility and took in two very exciting overtime hockey games!  The experience was one of the most impress professional sporting events we’ve ever attended. Tickets can be purchased here Vancouver CANUCKS.  Heading back from Whistler, you also could catch legendary multi-platinum, Grammy® Award Winning-music icon STEVIE NICKS December 9th.

The Whistler Film Festival and Summit are supported by Telefilm Canada, the Province of British Columbia, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and the American Friends of Whistler, funded by the Government of Canada through Western Economic Diversification, and is sponsored by Creative BC, Variety, The Harold Greenberg Fund, Cineplex, Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb, Gibbons Whistler and the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler.

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2016 AFM Kicks off this week in Santa Monica!

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By Editor-In-Chief:  SCOTT A. CAPESTANY

This week in Santa Monica, one of the worlds most EPIC and engaging film markets opens up.  Since attending this event since 2001, it has lead to more contacts and creative business deals, contacts and insight than any other event I’ve attended in the world.

Each year over 8000 industry professionals from 80+ countries around the globe converge at the beautiful SANTA MONICA LOEWS HOTEL at 1700 Ocean Avenue to interface with international buyers, distributors, financiers and top decision makers in Hollywood and around the world.

Aside from the amazing event itself and the many years I have attended, I’ve always been impressed with  how both the AFM and hotel staff treats everyone with dignity, class and professional demeanor throughout the entire property.  They respect that we are all there to bring our “A game”.  Even the Executive Director of the entire AFM Jonathan Wolf had a few moments to answer my personal questions over the years. A total professional!

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I had the honor of being selected a handful of years ago to “pitch” one my own feature film projects “My Silent Voice” as an emerging producer and creator to a massive ball room full of international press and over 1000 industry folks. 2013-11-09-13-03-15 WOW! What a rush! Around 15 or so were selected from around the world representing around 7-8 countries as I recall.  One of the worlds leading experts in interfacing filmmakers with TOP Hollywood decision makers STEPHANIE PALMER from GOOD IN ROOM, hosted the pitch conference.  She was exceptionally insightful, engaging and most of all a kind PRO there to help producers like me present our masterpieces to the world.

We each were given 3 minutes to pitch our project and get feedback from some of the panelists.  Just moments after, I was approached by a number of financiers and buyers on the floor surrounding me interested in helping guide my magical story of a young deaf girl and her journey to the winners circle with her equine pal.  Ironically, since that time, family films have now been a very HOT ticket item of content and huge commodity for buyers and distributors.  For me, I was grateful to be in the right place at the right time and those 3 minutes forever changed the my filmmaking career. hiest-of-hidden-cove That same week I meet whom now has become one of my closest and trusting producing partners and consultants on most all of my projects.  And a member of the Producers Guild of America to boot!  My pitch went well enough to catch her eye and personally approach me to offer working together with me.  A moment I will never forget.

I just couldn’t fathom where I would be today in my career, if I didn’t pony up the resources, submit my pitch video and board the plane that cold rainy Fall morning in November.

I strongly encourage  filmmakers from around the world to attend this awesome event to connect, engage, pitch, network and interface with folks that can literally change your career and life course!

If you live in LA, you can head down to the Santa Monica (few door down from the Pier) to register any day of the market on-site to buy a badge ranging from appx. $400 to $1500 for most every event and any single conference. Money WELL worth it’s weight in gold!  Visit their website here to engage in your own destiny!  AMERICAN FILM MARKET (AFM) Follow them on Twitter (@AFMOfficial) for daily updates on what’s going on and also recommend downloading their handy APP.

 

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INDIEFLIX CEO Scilla Andreen – Community engagement

Raising Awareness without spreading Fear

By Scilla Andreen – CEO/Co-Founder of INDIEFLIX

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

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

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

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

However…

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

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

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

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

Sharing thoughts from 38k feet

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

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

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Portland Film Festival ushers in cinematic spectacle.

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

Founder and Executive Director Josh Leake

Founder and Executive Director Josh Leake

Q:  Tell us a bit about PDXFF.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow Portland Film Festival on TWITTER and FACEBOOK

www.portlandfilmfestival.com 

SCott and Theo Small BEST

Media Inc partners with Hollyshorts Film Festival

Having recently arrived on Hollywood Blvd. this year at the 2016 HOLLYSHORTS FILM FESTIVAL, Media Inc Magazine joined forces as the exclusive media partner with one of the world’s top international film short festivals to help provide additional press coverage and PR support for the thousands of filmmakers attending the event.  Each year, over 3000 submissions from all continents around the globe position their creative works in hopes to be one of the 400 featured film shorts selected to be presented at the famous TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood, CA.

“We were honored and privileged this year to provide an additional component to the filmmakers experience at Hollyshorts.”, said Editor In Chief SCOTT A. CAPESTANY.  “With our recent expansion of our print publication footprint and explosive online engagement, we are eager to offer new and engaging PRESS and PR opportunities for the vast growing number of Film Festivals combined with their Indie Filmmakers around the world and help them understand the importance and dynamics of working with the press and using them as a valuable asset in promoting both their festival and positioning their filmmakers projects for effective and engaging press coverage.”

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“With the growing number of independent films on an explosive rise, there now seems to be a growing educational need among filmmakers and festival directors artists that could enhance their presentations at new levels through legitimate media outlet coverage and partnerships.”, Said Capestany.  “What allows us to stand above as a publication in a sea of massive content to cover as journalists, is that our writers and contributors all connect and engage directly with the filmmakers and festivals leadership in helping them  interface the importance of connecting with industry decision makers using the PRESS as the main conduit.  Which ultimately allows artists and festivals to grow their pallet of future creative projects, events and showcases.”

The magazine also held their first official LA kickoff event at the HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT where industry pros and filmmakers got a chance to network and enjoy a night of music, food and spirits.

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HOLLYSHORTS 2016 – Women In Film

As part of MI’s Women In Film expanded coverage among our publications platforms, a handful of impressive and empowering screenings rose to the top that were created and produced by Women.   Media Inc Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with these rapidly emerging  Award Winning filmmakers and shared with us about their films.

The Big Swim presentation copyTrailblazing the way for Women in Film (LA); writer, producer, director, KAT GREEN presented her recent film THE BIG SWIM who’s empowering story explores the enriching and enduring strength of a cancer survivor. As an active participant of local cancer awareness events, Green’s insight brings a powerful and passionate compliment to her story. “I’m so honored to have worked with a cast and crew who’s extraordinary efforts in supporting my story, supported both our
creative ambitions, and offered crew platforms for women in IMG_5466film.” Complimenting Green’s endeavor included her dear friend JARED
DAY
as casting director. Day’s work on network television’s NCIS: New Orleans and his love for helping fellow actors, brought to the production a unique asset, to compliment Green’s vision.  One of the most impressive elements of her film involved shooting the entire production on location in Mexico with an elaborate array of moving parts.   “One of the biggest blessings of this production was bringing on producer MEGAN WOEPPLE to help facilitate things”, Said Green.  “We really were lucky finding her, especially considering she came on board quite late in the game”.  Woepple provided the kind of leadership and moxy that helped bond the team back together after many cast and crew selections had to be re-examined with scheduling conflicts well into pre-production.   Green further acknowledged that her arrival truly enhanced the productions logistical requirements exponentially.     Kat Green on Twitter. Megan  Woeppel on Twitter and Jared day on Twitter

 

 

Hux-Poster2-Web-800Anther quite extrodinary film by   examined the complexities of the fear merged with courage surrounding autism. The film HUX fosters a unique
perspective on the multidimensional
understanding of autism, presented by award winning writer, producer, director, editor and lead actress MAGEINA TOVAH. “I’m in hopes our film presents the journey and exploration of strength required for an individual to persevere and remain strong”. Follow Mageina on Twitter.

Among the WA State film block of films screened this year came a captivating romantic comedy, ACROSS THE POND,
created by award nominated Australian / British national RENÉE BOURKE and Actor/Host/Musician PARIS DYLAN. Their story explores the dynamics of love
and the challenges of IMG_2641distance and career. She takes us through the
relationship of a struggling fashion designer from London EMILY, who meets the lost soul musician, NICK (Dylan). Together, they find quite a magical and impressive way to bridge the gap across the pond. Follow Renée on Instagram and Follow Paris on Twitter

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Actor/Producer/Host/Musician Paris Dylan. Photo by Getty Images

The film took over a year to piece together which allowed for Dylan and Bourke to fullfill their dreams of working from all creatives angles on their first film as Producers, Writers and Actors.  Be sure to follow all the annual events this on TW/FB/IG: @Hollyshorts. HOLLYSHORTS will continue their screenings throughout the year in special monthly showcases.

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

The Rainforest: FEATURE to be produced in Western Washington

Scott Capestany standing in front of field monitor.

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

The upcoming Feature Film The Rainforest has become quite the buzz around town and in many Western Washington regions where the project is slated to be filmed in 2017.

Created, written, directed and executive produced by award-winning Washington State resident and indie filmmaker Scott A. Capestany, this project carries quite the exotic and elaborate storyline that’s sure to get viewers excited while experiencing Pacific Northwest settings, authentic PNW Native American legends and some ‘Lara Croft’-style treasure hunting, action and adventure. Filming locations slated include Forks, Lake Quinault, Amanda Park, Sequim, Bainbridge Island, Seattle and the University of Washington, which will be the central settings for this epic action/adventure feature film.The Rainforest BAnner

The story was conceived by Capestany during his most recent TV series production, NW Waters Adventure TV, while fishing in Western Washington. By December, he produced a “proof of concept” teaser that he has used to help generate interest from investors, business partners and to showcase to inbound cast/crew. His project was selected as a “pitch” finalist for the Washington Filmworks Innovation Lab, which in turn led to some major interest among Hollywood distributors, VODs and programming networks to also make the feature into a TV Series.

With pre-production scheduled to begin in Summer 2017, Capestany’s endeavor is now on the fast track, having gained quite extensive support from well known PNW cast and crew, from statewide businesses and organizations, as well as from some very well known Hollywood players.

Wide shot of actress Cindy Lemos reading the map.

The adventure team assembles in proof of concept filming.

“The goal was to spend a solid 1.5 years  developing new business partnerships and backers for this project with the goal to impact the Washington State economy positively through general interest and commerce,” he said. “With a limited budget, I figured that if I could connect my proposed filming locations/communities to our project, all the moving parts on the finance end of things would fall into place seamlessly.”

Committed to keep 100% of The Rainforest produced in WA State, Capestany will be using local Emmy Award winning Seattle Post Audio design company BAD ANIMALS  along with KOERNER CAMERA to facilitate his projects camera needs.  “Our relationships with long standing highly acclaimed regional leaders are important not only for the economics of our local industry but also from the high level of work they do”, Said Capestany.  “Bad Animals has been the premier leader in sound design in our market having worked with some of the greatest musicians of our generation including  Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Steve Miller and R.E.M.  And they are still winning Emmy’s!”

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

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

Capestany on his Satellite phone.

Capestany on scouting trip with his Satellite phone.

Preserving the delicate filming locations and their delicate  environments are a primary objective for Capestany. His goal of attracting more PNW, national and international outdoor apparel, products and services (that will be functional as both props and woven into the storyline) that support sustainability and environmental awareness will remain at the forefront in the coming months with The Rainforest.

As creative director at Capestany Films for a number of years, Capestany has cut his teeth like all indie filmmakers operating outside the studio system.  He’s created a quite impressive Hollywood network ranging from relationships with major players in the industry to actively participating annually in dozens of international panels and workshops educating creatives on the business side of the industry.  He has worked as a consulting producer and film financier for over a decade on multiple creative endeavors and likes to keep his business involvement with many well known films modestly at bay when asked about them.   “My goal as a financier has always been about the filmmaker, not about how we arrived there.”, He said.  “If I can help an artist guide his creative endeavor early on by removing the money equation that hampers 90% of films and often times contaminates the creative process with all involved, then the projects our group typically gets behind most always seem to find a way to be realized and produced.”

After reading the book Rebel without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez, he launched Capestany Films on Main Street in Park City, Utah, during the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, where he was serving as a volunteer at the Slamdance Film Festival under the watchful eye of founders Peter Baxter and Dan Mirvish. He still carries his first “creative” business card he made that year in his wallet as a daily reminder that “if you can dream…you can achieve.”

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Interior airfield hangar of proof of concept filming.

To date, Capestany has been selected to pitch at multiple Hollywood networks, studios,  production companies and some of the most recognizable film market events in the world.  Including recently in Beverly Hills at the Variety’s Faith-Based Summit and the American Film Market, where he met one of his current consulting producers, Anne Marie Gillen. After hearing one of his explosive and engaging pitch presentations, Gillen quickly decided to join Capestany Films to help guide his new endeavors through the quite complicated terrain of Hollywood business and finance.

Gillen was the former COO of Morgan Freeman’s production company, Revelations Entertainment, and is currently an expert in business development and finance for indie filmmakers around the world.

“After watching Scott on that stage in front of the world, his passion and resilience told me I had to be a part of what he was doing,” Gillen said.Scott meeting with Sklallam tribe

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

Casting for the film will begin in January 2017 underway with the lead, Dr. Riley Stone, being considered for numerous named Hollywood Female lead actors whose intellectual strength have already graced well know Film/TV productions.

As one of the most fierce and vocal advocates in the independent film sector of the industry for Women in Film, Capestany is strategically positioning  this partnerships with some of Hollywood’s elite leaders in this current fight for equality and diversity in the work place.  “My lead character Dr. Riley Stone is a reflection of some of the strongest and most influential women I have met in this business and throughout the world in my business travels whom I respect”.  She’s what I consider an authentic representation of a person that women can and should aspire to be.  Strong (emotionally and psychologically), Intelligent, dynamic leader and most importantly well-respected among their male counterparts”, Capestany Said.  “The days of commercially viable scripts describing a woman as sexy, beautiful and alluring are reaching a breaking point and soon to be replaced by stories of strength from within”.

Capestany has begun assembling quite the impressive Pacific Northwest crew, including Seattle producer Ben Andrews (founder of the Seattle Film Summit) and Vashon Island resident Tim Everitt (SFX animator who has worked on Pirates of the Caribbean and The Last Samurai). Capestany is a frequent speaker at regional industry events and an instructor at the Northwest Film Forum teaching emerging filmmakers the importance of connecting commerce and creativity.

Production for The Rainforest is slated for late August 2017 with a projected 22-day filming schedule. The official films proof of concept launch party was held this summer at the 7 Cedars Casino in Sequim, WA, August 29th.  Story intro to the general public, live music by award-winning singer/songwriter Melanie Dekker (www.melaniedekker.com), catered food, raffle and gaming were part of the festivities.  More can be found on Facebook (Capestany Films & The Rainforest) and  on Twitter @CapestanyFilms and @MediaIncMag. All inquiries may go to producer@capestanyfilms.com.

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 innovativeness 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 around our region.

Congratulations to these outstanding women from Washington State, and be sure to look for part two of this story, which will feature women from Oregon, 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.

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HollyShorts Film Festival welcomes Pacific Northwest Alliance!

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

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

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

Ben Andrews and David S. Hogan

Ben Andrews and David S. Hogan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lorainne Montez

Lorainne Montez

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

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

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

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

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Anne Marie Gillen joins MI as associate editor

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

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

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2016 Seattle Shorts announces opening night guest!

Provided by Smarthouse Creative

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

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

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

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