Category Archives: Festivals

afm-2016

American Film Market 2017 – Insider Tips!

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By Editor-In-Chief:  SCOTT A. CAPESTANY

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

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

AFM 2017

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

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

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The Loews Santa Monica Hotel – Courtesy of hotel website

Which leads to our #MediaIncMag TIP #1: 

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

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

Credential Hours:

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

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

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

Cinando

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

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

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

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

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

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Producer Cassian Elwes – Expert in Financing and Distribution 2016 AFM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for Registration badges.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BONUS TIP: Google + IMDB  are great sources.

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

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

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

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

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

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RB Botto – CEO of Stage 32

Visit AMERICAN FILM MARKET (AFM)

Follow them on Twitter @AFMOfficial 

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

 

 

 

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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 aggressively partnering with top international and domestic film festivals as their exclusive Media partner.  The partnerships and press coverage we have in place at high profile indiefilm meccas and markets such as  Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, American Film Market, Seattle International Film Festival and Whistler International Film Festival to mention a few, help bridge the gap of emerging filmmakers and creatives with the rapidly evolving media world.  Showcasing unique aspects of their festivals and events daily on our online platforms (twitter @MediaIncMag) and quarterly in 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 and film festivals around the world.

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

SAC:  Shortly after attending a Sundance Film Festival a while back, 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 five 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.  Many people dropped out of the entertainment industry business because of the lighting speed technology and the time it takes to develop and foster professional relationships.  So it’s really opened it up for new emerging creatives that understand the new digital landscape and are leveraging this technology to grow the “New Hollywood”.  You can now pitch a complete stranger at a film market, festival or conference and within days they are investing and often times partnering with you in your endeavor.  Technology has helped bridge the gap of uncertainty in our business.  Content is King in this business more than ever before.  With the emergence of digital distribution, everyone is looking for contact all all platforms and it’s more easy in today’s landscape to get projects pushed along to production if the relationships are there.  The demand for content is unparalleled from any other time in movie making history.  Netflix and Amazon combined are in the process of spending close to $10 Billion dollars for 2017 and likely to increase that aggressive content acquisition well into the future.   So 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 of movie making.   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 since they came out and have stayed well ahead of the curve within the new digital landscape.   Especially when it comes to engaging decision makers at the studio and network level.  They most all have brilliant tech minds and quite savvy withing the new Hollywood digital landscape.  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 viewed at the touch of a button 24/7.    And now in this quite extraordinary time, 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 our headlining project which is an action/adventure thriller feature film THE RAINFOREST .  (See story on page  15).   It’s a story about a group of international explorers and scientists that set out to a mysterious Rainforest to investigate a series of tribal legends, riddles and search for a 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.  

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 One of my personal favorite projects that I’m a creator on is an adventurous 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, audiences and especially younger kids will quickly identify and connect with Sammie and her brave adventures.  Sammie’s bold and brave spirit allows her to do everything the boys can do 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 “Editorial 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 globally distributed 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 700% 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 Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Seattle International Film Festival and the American Film Market this Fall.  We are also very excited to add a new segment beginning with this publication –  SPORTS.    We’ll be doing editorials that have a new media focus within major organizations like the Pac-12 Network (See page 33) whom are expanding their digital new media footprint and audiences using the power of technology.  

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). You can now find us on the racks (just to the right as you walk in the door) at LA’s largest Indie bookstore in Hollywood BOOK SOUP on sunset Boulevard.  We are strategically planning to expand circulation and take the publication to other markets through partnering with domestic and international film festivals, industry organizations and entertainment entities that support Indie Filmmaking. 

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

 

 

©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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

 

 

 

 

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2017 Sundance Film Festival – Short Film Lineup!

This week, the Sundance Institute in Park City Utah will be presenting sixty-eight (68) short films that will compliment the feature length line-up at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival running January 19-29, 2017.

Media Inc Magazine will be reporting LIVE via TWITTER and FACEBOOK LIVE  throughout Park City interacting with filmmakers and bringing you daily/hourly updates on news and exclusive interviews with some of the worlds most talented creatives making the cut this year in all categories.  Our coverage this year will include some of the 40 featured length films Written and/or Directed by #WomenInFilm.  Over 175 total films (shorts, docs, animation and features) will be showcased at one of the worlds most prestigious film festivals over the course of 10 days.

To give you an idea how competitive the selection process was this year,  there were over 8000 films submitted!  With only 68 Shorts and 110 features (including docs) making the final cut.  Roughly 1 in every 40 films submitted got an invitation.

Sundance has been best known as the crown jewel of indie film festivals that have helped discover some of the greatest filmmakers now working in Hollywood over the last 35 years.

With more than 9,000 playwrights, composers, digital media artists, and filmmakers served through the Sundance Institute programs over the last 35 years, the Sundance community of independent creators is more far-reaching and vibrant than ever before.

If you have been selected for any Institute lab program or festival, you are a member of this community. Sundance alumni receive support throughout their careers, including access to tools, resources and advice as well as artist gatherings and more. Alumni are also encouraged to actively contribute to the Institute’s creative community and to our mission to discover and develop work from new artists.

The Institute’s support for short films extends internationally and year-round. Select Festival short films are presented as a traveling program at over 50 theaters in the U.S. and Canada each year, and short films and filmmakers take part in regional Master Classes geared towards supporting emerging shorts-makers in several cities. Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and in partnership with The Guardian and The New York Times’ Op-Docs, provides grants to makers of documentary shorts around the world, including new filmmakers in Cuba featured in a Special Event program at this year’s Festival.

Mike Plante, Senior Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “Each year we see more short films from around the country and from more regions around the world, which is exciting as we want to discover new voices to support. This year’s crop captures the full spectrum of what short films can be: emotional, hilarious, horrifying and touching — sometimes all at once.”

Among the shorts the Festival has shown in recent years are World of Tomorrow, Thunder Road, Whiplash, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, Gregory Go Boom and Edmond.

The Short Film program is presented by YouTube.

U.S. NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS

American Paradise / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Joe Talbot) — A desperate man in Trump’s America tries to shift his luck with the perfect crime in this story inspired by true events.

Cecile on the Phone / U.S.A. (Director: Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Screenwriters: Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Ellen Greenberg) — Overwhelmed by doubt and confusion after her ex-boyfriend’s return to New York, Cecile embarks on a series of telephone conversations that serve only to distract her from the one conversation she really needs to have.

Come Swim / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kristen Stewart) — This is a diptych of one man’s day, half impressionist and half realist portraits.

GOOD CRAZY / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Rosa Salazar) — A complex chick deals with a vanilla beau, a shitty brunch and a dead coyote all in a Los Angeles day. There’s batshit crazy and then there’s good crazy—she fits somewhere in between.

Hardware / U.S.A. (Director: Stephen Jacobson, Screenwriters: Ellen Stringer, Stephen Jacobson) — An amateur electronic-drum enthusiast travels to a housewares trade show looking to strike up the perfect business partnership. When things don’t go as planned, he finds himself at the mercy of the electronic drumbeat playing in his head.

Hold On / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Christine Turner) — Family bonds are tested when a young man is left to care for his grandmother one morning.

Hot Seat / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Anna Kerrigan) — Teenaged Andrea uses a male stripper to gain the respect and admiration of cool girl Daphne in this exploration of coming-of-age sexuality and teen girls’ complex relationships, based on a true story.

I Know You from Somewhere / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Fitzgerald) — A young woman incurs the wrath of the internet after she inadvertently becomes a viral sensation.

Kaiju Bunraku / U.S.A. (Directors: Lucas Leyva, Jillian Mayer, Screenwriter: Lucas Leyva) — Here’s a day in the life of a husband and wife living in a world of giant monsters.

Laps / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Charlotte Wells) — On a routine morning, a woman on a crowded New York City subway is sexually assaulted in plain sight.

LostFound / U.S.A. (Director: Shakti Bhagchandani, Screenwriters: Shakti Bhagchandani, Emre Gulcan) — This story portrays a day in the life of a woman in the Nation of Islam.

Lucia, Before and After / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Anu Valia) — After traveling 200 miles, a young woman waits out Texas’s state-mandated 24-hour waiting period before her abortion can proceed.

New Neighbors / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: E.G. Bailey) — How far will a mother go to protect her children?

Night Shift / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Marshall Tyler) — Get a glimpse into a day in the life of a bathroom attendant in a Los Angeles nightclub.

Rubber Heart / U.S.A. (Director: Lizzy Sanford, Screenwriters: Lizzy Sanford, Anna Cordell) — After a painful dry spell, a woman attempts to have a one-night stand.

Shinaab / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr.) — A young Anishinaabe man struggles with his place in the inner city of Minneapolis.

Toru / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Jonathan Minard, Scott Rashap) — An infant’s life is transformed by a new technology.

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS

5 Films About Technology / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Peter Huang) — Take a satirical look at the dumber side of technology.

And so we put goldfish in the pool. / Japan (Director and screenwriter: Makoto Nagahisa) — One summer day, 400 goldfish were found in the swimming pool of a secondary school. This is a story about the four 15-year-old girls who put them there.

And The Whole Sky Fit In The Dead Cow’s Eye / Chile, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Francisca Alegría) — Emeteria is visited by the ghost of her patrón, Teodoro. She believes he has come to take her to the afterlife—but he has more devastating news.

Dadyaa — The Woodpeckers of Rotha / Nepal, France (Directors and screenwriters: Pooja Gurung, Bibhusan Basnet) — Atimaley and Devi’s village is haunted by memories. When a dear friend leaves the village without saying goodbye, the old couple faces a dilemma: keep living with the memories or leave the village for good?

Dawn of the Deaf / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Rob Savage) — When a strange sound wipes out the hearing population, a small group of deaf people must band together to survive.

Dear Mr. Shakespeare / United Kingdom (Director: Shola Amoo, Screenwriter: Phoebe Boswell) — An exploration of Shakespeare’s intentions when writing Othello explores the play’s racial themes in historical and contemporary settings, and draws wider parallels between immigration and blackness in the UK today.

The Geneva Convention / France (Director and screenwriter: Benoit Martin) — As Hakim is waiting for the bus after class, he is caught in a vendetta between teenagers. He’s not exactly keen to be involved, but can he avoid it?

HEAT / Poland (Directors and screenwriters: Agata Trzebuchowska, Mateusz Pacewicz) — A young boy does an unusual favor for a friend, assuming his identity to visit his senile grandmother. The woman takes him for a walk, and tells him about the biggest mystery of her life.

Kao Shi (A Test) / China (Director and screenwriter: Zuxiang Zhao) — In a small-town high school, days before the college entrance exam, teacher Chen Jun finds out that the father of his most promising student has died in a mining accident. Telling him—or not—bears heavy consequences.

MappaMundi / Luxembourg, Austria (Director and screenwriter: Bady Minck) — Through the eyes of cosmic cartographers, the viewer takes a voyage through 950 million years of Earth history and 15,000 years of cartography. This accelerated journey visualizes the change in our world—a change unnoticeable in a single lifetime.

Mare Nostrum / France, Syrian Arab Republic (Directors: Rana Kazkaz, Anas Khalaf, Screenwriter: Rana Kazkaz) — On a Mediterranean shore, a Syrian father makes a decision that puts his daughter’s life at risk.

Pedro / Portugal (Directors and screenwriters: André Santos, Marco Leão) — Pedro gets home at dawn. Before the young boy falls asleep, his lonely mother drags him to the beach.

Slapper / Australia (Director: Luci Schroder, Screenwriters: Luci Schroder, Sam West) — A broke and rebellious teen navigates a suburban wasteland, hustling money for the morning-after pill—before it’s too late.

What Tears Us Apart / France (Director and screenwriter: Wei Hu) — A Chinese couple visits the daughter they gave up for adoption 30 years ago. While meeting the French adoptive parents, language barriers become apparent and the birth mother’s hidden emotions rise to the surface.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMS

Alone / U.S.A. (Director: Garrett Bradley) — This investigation into the layers of mass incarceration and its shaping of the modern black American family is seen through the eyes of a single mother in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Bayard & Me / U.S.A. (Director: Matt Wolf) — Walter Naegle’s boyfriend, Bayard Rustin, was a famous civil rights activist 30 years Walter’s senior. In the 1980s, Bayard decided to adopt Walter for legal protection. This love story is about a time when gay marriage was inconceivable.

Close Ties / Poland (Director: Zofia Kowalewska) — Barbara and Zdzislaw will soon celebrate their 45th anniversary—despite their constant bickering, and the fact that Zdzislaw spent eight of those years living with another woman. This is a portrait of a relationship that, somewhat inexplicably, perseveres.

Deer Squad: The Movie / U.S.A. (Directors: Pipus Larsen, Kenneth Gug, Scott J. Ross) — Kelvin Peña, a charismatic 17-year-old from rural Pennsylvania, shares his story of going viral after befriending a group of wild deer in his backyard.

The Diver / Mexico (Director: Esteban Arrangoiz) — Julio César Cu Cámara is the chief diver in the Mexico City sewer system. His job is to repair pumps and dislodge garbage that flows into the gutters to maintain the circulation of sewage waters. THE NEW CLIMATE

Fish Story / United Kingdom (Director: Charlie Lyne) — Behind a fishy tale lies this search for the truth.

Hairat / Ethiopia (Director: Jessica Beshir) — One man’s nightly ritual brings solace to the lovelorn of Harar.

Legal Smuggling with Christine Choy / U.S.A. (Director: Lewie Kloster) — Academy Award–nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy undergoes an adventure of wild proportions when she accidentally smuggles cigarettes.

My Father’s Tools / Canada (Director: Heather Condo)— Stephen continues producing traditional baskets to honor his father and thus finds peace in his studio as he connects with the man who taught him the craft.

Project X / U.S.A. (Directors: Laura Poitras, Henrik Moltke) — A top secret handbook takes viewers on an undercover journey to the site of a hidden partnership. Based on NSA documents, this film reveals the inner workings of a windowless skyscraper in Manhattan.

The Rabbit Hunt / U.S.A. (Director: Patrick Bresnan) — On the weekends during the harvest season, 17-year-old Chris and his family hunt rabbits in the sugarcane fields of the Florida Everglades.

Ten Meter Tower / Sweden (Directors: Maximilien Van Aertryck, Axel Danielson) — People who have never been up a 10-meter diving tower must choose whether to jump or climb down in this entertaining study of people in a vulnerable position.

Tough / United Kingdom (Director: Jennifer Zheng) — New light is shed on childhood cultural misunderstandings when a Chinese mother and her British-born daughter speak as adults for the first time. Some things can only be understood with maturity.

Visions of an Island / U.S.A. (Director: Sky Hopinka) — Indigenous and foreign presences coexist on an Alaskan island in the center of the Bering Sea. THE NEW CLIMATE

Waiting for Hassana / Nigeria (Director: Ifunanya Maduka) — In 2014, 276 teenage girls came together for exams in Chibok, Nigeria—by dawn, nearly all had disappeared, and their school was burned to the ground. Jessica, an escapee, shares her haunting account of a friendship violently interrupted by Boko Haram.

White Riot: London / United Kingdom (Director: Rubika Shah) — In 1977, immigration divides Britain. What happens when a punk fanzine challenges the status quo?

MIDNIGHT SHORT FILMS

Do No Harm / New Zealand (Director and screenwriter: Roseanne Liang) — 3:00 a.m., 1980s Hongjing: In an aging private hospital, a single-minded surgeon is forced to break her physician’s oath when violent gangsters storm in to stop a crucial operation.

Fucking Bunnies / Finland (Director: Teemu Niukkanen, Screenwriters: Antti Toivonen, Teemu Niukkanen) — Raimo’s comfortable, middle-class bubble is burst when a Satan-worshipping sex cult moves in next door.

Hot Winter: A film by Dick Pierre / U.S.A. (Director: Jack Henry Robbins, Screenwriters: Jack Henry Robbins, Nunzio Randazzo) — One of the first films in American cinema to address climate change, Hot Winter: A film by Dick Pierre, was also a hardcore porno. All sex scenes have been removed as to not distract from the conscious message. THE NEW CLIMATE

A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky (Un ciel bleu presque parfait) / France (Director and screenwriter: Quarxx) — You might think that Simon lives a monotonous life, but you would be wrong—contrary to appearances, he doesn’t live alone among the ruins of an old farm. Between kidnapper and guardian angel, he never takes his eyes off his roommate.

Pussy / Poland (Director and screenwriter: Renata Gasiorowska) — Alone at home one evening, a young girl decides to have a solo pleasure session—but not everything goes according to plan.

The Robbery / U.S.A. (Director: Jim Cummings, Screenwriters: Jim Cummings, Dustin Hahn) — Crystal robs a liquor store—it goes pretty OK.

Summer’s Puke Is Winter’s Delight / Japan (Director and screenwriter: Sawako Kabuki) — Painful events become memories over time. Still, we vomit and eat again. Life is eco.

ANIMATED SHORT FILMS

The Bald Future / France (Director and screenwriter: Paul Cabon) — Being a bald man sucks. Knowing you’ll become one is worse.

Black Holes / U.S.A., France (Directors and screenwriters: David Nicolas, Laurent Nicolas) — Dave is about to lead the first mission to Mars when he’s teamed up with a sentient melon, who claims to be the reincarnation of a fashion designer, upstaging his big moment and driving him to the brink of madness.

Broken – The Women’s Prison at Hoheneck / Germany (Directors: Volker Schlecht, Alexander Lahl, Screenwriters: Alexander Lahl, Max Mönch) — This animated documentary about Hoheneck, the main women’s prison in former East Germany, is based on original interviews with former inmates. It’s a film about political imprisonment, forced labor and enormous profits on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

Drawn & Recorded: Teen Spirit / U.S.A. (Director: Drew Christie, Screenwriters: Drew Christie, Bill Flanagan) — This is the story behind one of the most iconic songs ever written, animated in the style of a pop-up book.

How’s your prostate? / France (Directors: Jeanne Paturle, Cécile Rousset, Screenwriters: Jeanne Paturle, Cécile Rousset, Cécile Mille) — One friend tells the other about the very strange time when, beside a swimming pool, she learned about her father’s prostate, his erectile function and his nighttime fantasies.

It’s a Date / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Zachary Zezima) — This film explores miscommunication, perceptions and vulnerability in the modern world. Everyone is an alien at first.

Jonas and the Sea / Netherlands (Director: Marlies Van der Wel, Screenwriters: Ruben Picavet, Marlies Van der Wel) — Jonas has dreamed of living in the sea all his life, but it’s impossible. Or is it?

The Laughing Spider / Japan (Director: Keiichi Tanaami) — The early childhood memory of aerial attacks leaves a lasting impression, with strong stimulus and disquiet.

LOVE / France, Hungary (Director and screenwriter: Réka Bucsi)— Abstract haiku-like situations reveal the changing atmosphere on one planet caused by a meteoric impact in a distant solar system. Inhabitants on this pulsing planet become one with each other, in various ways, in this three-chapter exploration of affection.

Nighthawk / Slovenia, Croatia (Director: Špela Čadež, Screenwriters: Gregor Zorc, Špela Čadež) — Attempting to remove an unresponsive badger from a dark road, a police patrol soon realizes that the animal is not dead but rather dead drunk. Things take an even stranger turn when the creature wakes up.

Nutag — Homeland / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Alisi Telengut) — This hand-painted visual poem explores the ideas of diaspora, homeland and the mass deportations of the Kalmyk people during World War II.

Summer Camp Island / U.S.A., South Korea (Director and screenwriter: Julia Pott) — Oscar and his best friend, Hedgehog, just got dropped off at summer camp. Once the parents leave the island, the strangeness lurking beneath the surface is revealed—aliens exist, horses become unicorns and there are monsters under the bed.

Trumpet Man / Hong Kong (Director and screenwriter: Emily Wong) — A turntable springs out a woman named Avocado; her instinct creates a man called Soul. Passion swings both, and an uncertain madness strikes Soul heavily. Seeds of passion breed conflict among five men, eventually leading Soul to a deeper understanding of life.

Victor & Isolina / U.S.A. (Director: William Caballero) — Creatively visualized through 3D printing, two elderly Latinos embark on a resonating he said/she said account of the events that led them to live separately after more than 50 quirky and stressful years together.

One film announced today was funded through a Kickstarter campaign: Black Holes.

The Sundance Film Festival®
The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Boyhood, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Twenty Feet from Stardom, Life Itself, The Cove, The End of the Tour, Blackfish, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Super Size Me, Dope, Little Miss Sunshine, sex, lies, and videotape, Reservoir Dogs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious and Napoleon Dynamite. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2017 Festival sponsors to date include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, SundanceTV, Chase Sapphire®, and Canada Goose; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe, AT&T, DIRECTV, and YouTube; Sustaining Sponsors – American Airlines, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Francis Ford Coppola Winery, GEICO, Google VR, The Hollywood Reporter, IMDb, Jaunt, Kickstarter, Omnicom, Stella Artois® and the University of Utah Health. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists. Look for the Official Sponsor seal at their venues at the Festival. sundance.org/festival

Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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Women In Film at 16th Annual Whistler Film Festival!

As the 16th annual Whistler Film Festival kicks off this weekend high in the Canadian Mountains, MEDIA INC MAGAZINE continues their coverage and support of #WomenInFilm who’s creative vision behind the camera gives hope and inspiration to the next generation and of younger feamale filmmakers.

“With 15 feature films in our lineup directed by women and over half of the participants in our talent programs being women, the Whistler Film Festival is committed to ensuring that their stories have the best opportunity for success.”, said Co-Founder and Festival Executive Director Shauna Hardy Mishaw.   “The industry is calling for change and WFF is behind the movement to ensure that it happens. This year, we’re putting women at the top of our agenda and our mountain.”

Media Inc Magazine is proud to introduce each of these women and thier spectacular works of art as a collective celebration of thier hard work and passion to level the playing field with the boys enhancing gender equality in the workplace.  Now let’s meet this years WFF Women In Film! (Not in any specific order)

The Will to Fly – Australia | 95min | Canadian Premiere | 2016 | English | English Sub.
Screening Times:  Dec 3rd @5pm and Dec 4th @ 3:30pm – Maury Young Arts Centere
**Media Inc’s #1 Documentary Pick! **
An extraordinary sports biography of Australian Olympic ski jumper Lydia Lassila as she trains to become the first woman to ever successfully complete a quadruple, twisting triple somersault jump, a move that combines skiing prowess and gymnastic ability. This Film is a story about resilience, dreams and fulling one’s destiny in life!  *Sports Documentary and Women Empoerment *
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Thee Death (and life) of Carl Narrdlinger – Canada | 92min | World Premiere | 2016 | English
Writer / Directer: Katherine Schlemmer
One of Five films selected by Telecanada for funding ($100,000).  A very original comedy about a double Doppelganger. Police come to the door looking for a man with the same oddball name as our hero, only to discover that the man has a brother who is his identical twin.
Shades of Winter: Between
Austria | 96min | Canadian Premiere | 2016 | English | English Sub.
December 4th – 6:30pm and 9:30pm – Rainbow Theater
*Women Empowerment and Sports Documentary*
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Austrian filmmaker and extreme sports enthusiast Sandra Lahnsteiner takes us on a global celebration of female athleticism as we travel from New Zealand to Austria, through Canada searching for the biggest waves and the best ski runs for her merry band of all-female adventure-seekers to conquer. Beautifully shot and duly inspiring for thrill seekers.
Hunting Pignut – Canada | 95min | Western Canadian Premiere | 2016 | English
Writer/Director: Martine Blue
Bernice, a 15 year old misfit runs away from her rural Newfoundland community in search of Pignut, a tormented and violent gutter punk, after he steals her father’s ashes right out of his urn.

Before the Streets – Canada | 97min | Western Canadian Premiere | 2016 | Atikamekw | English Sub.
Saturday Dec 3rd 8:30pm – Village 8 Cinema
Writer/Director:  Chloe Leriche
This film celebrates a revival of native culture and its traditions, as embodied by the very actors who participated in the film. The first dramatic feature shot in the native language of atikamekw, the film boasts a cast composed almost entirely of non-professionals living and working in the villages where the film was shot. The story takes place in Manawan, the First Nations reserve on the south-western shores of Lake Métabeskéga in the Lanaudière region of Quebec, Canada.
The Space Between – Canada | 90min | Western Canadian Premiere | 2016 | English
Writer/Director: Amy Jo Johnson
December 4th 10:30am – Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Center
**Media Inc Magazine TOP Comedy pick **
Amy Jo Johnson (Felicity and MM Power Rangers) presents her directorial debut heartfelt comedy feature film about a proud new father who learns that his wife took his infertility into her own hands with a 19-year old university student and sets out on a journey to find the biological baby-daddy.  Brilliant cast including Michael Ironside (Top Gun), Julia Sarah Stone, David Peatkau (FlashPoint TV Series and Crimminal Minds) and Sonya Salomma (Flashpoint TV Series).  EPIC soundtrack including three songs written and performed by Canadian Award Nominated Lead actor Michael Cram.
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The Sun at Midnight – Canada | 93min | Western Canadian Premiere | 2016 | English
Writer/Director: Kirsten Carthew
The adventure/drama tells the story of Lia, a troubled teenager from Montreal who is sent to live with her grandmother in Ft. McPherson. Desperate to get back to the city, she flees into the wilderness and finds a world of danger and vulnerability. She meets Alfred, a caribou tracker, who reluctantly takes her under his wing. When Alfred is severely wounded in a bear attack, their roles reverse and Lia must fight to save both their lives.
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Actress Devery Jacobs as LIA – The Sun at Midnight

Anatomy of Violence – Canada – 93min – Western Canada Premier – Hindi – English Sub

Director:  Deepa Mehta

Trailer HERE

Deepa Mehta takes an innovative docudrama approach to analyzing the rape culture that exists in India. She specifically workshopped six character backgrounds to depict the infamous rapists of a young woman on a decommissioned bus. Grinding poverty, deep-rooted misogyny and a sense of male entitlement are explored to great effect.

Broken – Canada – 68min – Western World Premier – English

Director: Lynne Spencer

Ballet BC’s prima ballerina Simone Orlando overcomes a career threatening injury in this intimate portrait of what happens to an artist (or athlete) who has devoted their life to a single pursuit when personal injury threatens that very way of life. Orlando is now CEO of Ballet Kelowna.

Sled Dogs – Canada – 82min – World Premier – English

Director: Fern Levitt

A provoking expose of the cruelty to dogs that permeates the commercial dog sled operations that supply sled dogs for such famous races as the Iditarod in Alaska. The film addresses the sled dog cull that occurred in Whistler and the attempts by locals to run an ethical puppy farm in its stead.

Melody Makers: Should’ve Been There
Director: Leslie Ann Cole
Canada | 95min | World Documentary Premiere | 2016 | English
A behind the scenes peek at all the rock ‘n roll legends of the 70s, as director Leslie Ann Coles guides us through the ribald history of the influential British rock magazine Melody Makers, featuring unseen photographs of all the greats by Barrie Wentzell.
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From the Land of the Moon
Director: Nicole Garcia
France, Belgium | 121min | Western Canadian Premiere | 2016 | French | English Sub.
Marion Cotillard is mesmerizing in her role as a small-town girl who refuses to accept a loveless marriage and is treated as having a mental illness because she dares to hold out hope for true love, which she finds in the form of a young injured veteran. Subtitled.

Going Furthur
Director: Lindsay Kent
Canada, United States | 99min | Canadian Premiere | 2016 | English
December 4th – 9pm – Meury Young Arts Centre
The psychedelic counterculture movement is alive and well today. Fifty years after Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters’ first acid-laced bus trip, his son Zane has taken his Dad’s bus on a 15,000 mile, 75 day tour of music festivals, tribal gatherings, and happenings, man. Enjoy the trip!

Below Her Mouth
Writer/Director: April Mullen

Canada | 92min | British Columbia Premiere | 2016 | EnglishDecember 4th – 10:15pm – Village 8 Cinema

A woman who is engaged to be married succumbs to the lesbian advances of an attractive roofer, and her life is turned upside down with newfound desire. A very adult film with the rare distinction of having been made by an all-female crew. April Mullen directs.

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Whistler Film Festival 2017 -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 also presented by WHISTLER BREWING.  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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Seattle Shorts Film Festival a Fall spectacle this year!

press_scottcapestany_mediaincmagazineBy Scott A. Capestany – Editor-In-Chief

This years 2016 sixth annual Seattle Shorts Film Festival presented by Media Inc Magazine recently wrapped up after three solid days of impressive screenings, panels, parties and awards.  With exciting plans for 2017 already now confirmed, this year marked the final year for the festival hosting their venue at the SIFF Film center.   For 2017, plans to move the festival to the larger multi-screen SIFF UPTOWN theater already has Executive Director/Found Daniel Hoyas excited. “We’re so grateful to have completed a great six year run at SIFF Film center with a one of our busiest festivals to date this year.” Said Hoyas.  Now moving our festival to the Uptown in 2017, we’ll be able to screen more films, host more events and screen more films in the future.”

Special VIP guests this year included FATIMA PTACEKfatima-and-brenden-1 best known as the voice for Nickelodeon’s Dora The Explorer.   Her brilliant performance in the 2014 film short ‘Curfew’ earned the film an Academy Award Oscar win for best short in 2012.  The feature length adaptation ‘Before I disappear’ was this weekends  opening night film which drew a fully packed house followed by a Q&A by both her and producer BRENDEN HUBBARD.   “It was such a great experience attending Seattle Shorts Film Festival where I was able to connect with wonderful independent filmmakers and Washington-based actors who are so passionate about their craft.” Said Ptacek.  “We bonded over our love of storytelling and shared lots of laughs. I really enjoyed visiting Seattle and my visit to the Seattle Space Needle was especially memorable.”

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King 5 Morning news broadcast. Executive Director/Founder of SSFF Daniel Hoyos (L) and Editor-In-Chief Scott A. Capestany (R) Watch clip here:  KING5

Founder and Executive Director DANIEL HOYOS, who has been the mastermind behind the evolution and growth of the festival over the years, sat down with Media Inc Magazine to share more about his endeavor.

Media Inc: Congratulations on another great year!  How many submissions did you have this year that made up the final 48 films?

DH: This year we had around 1300 submissions from all over the world that also included over 35 filmmakers in attendance.

MI: Tell us more about your 2017 approval by The Seattle International Film Festival partnership you have moving your festival to the uptown theater next year.

DH:  We have been strategically working with SIFF over the years in preparation to move our festival from the Film Center to the Uptown theater.  Turns out 2017 will usher in a new looks and feel our festival.  The move will expand our operational space to multiple theater screens and give filmmakers a wonderful theater venue to showcase their films in.

MI: Where can filmmakers submit for 2017?

DH:  Filmmakers can submit via Without A Box, Film Freeway and also directly on our website. www.seattleshorts.org  Filmmakers registered at an accredited college can submit for as little as $10 while other filmmakers submit throughout the year between $20-35 depending on the month they submit leading up to festival.  We also pride ourselves on keeping our submission fees very low compared to other festivals encouraging more people to explore our festival.    Submission can be made here begining NOW for 2017!  SSFF 2017 Submissions

MI: Tell us how your programming selection process works.

DH:  As submissions come in, we have a team of around 15 screeners throughout the year watch our films and suggest films to both myself and festival coordinator Marissa Huntley for final decision to be included.  Our screening blocks this year allowed for us to showcase films from a diverse group of filmmakers from a variety of genres.  These blocks included “Women In Film” (Women Directors/Leads), Musical Cinema” (Music Videos), Raising Awareness” (Global issues), “Made in Washington” (Locally produced films from WA State) and a few other blocks that featured films of highly impressive cinematic art. 

MI: Tell about other activities filmmakers can expect while attending your film festival.

DH:  This year we hosted a Saturday night Dance party for filmmakers, an opening night feature film that was based on the 2012 Academy Award Winning short ‘Curfew’ called ‘Before I disappear’ that included a Q&A with celebrity guest Fatima Ptacek and a few industry panels.

MI:  What kind of awards and door prizes do filmmakers receive from the Seattle Shorts Film festival .

DH:  All of our winners receive very unique and special ‘etched in glass’ award trophies.  We were very grateful to partner with the Youth Actor Theater Camp this year in which we nominated four young bright actors Rachelle Henry, Belle Shouse, Hannah Ord, and Connor Muhl to be eligible for a tuition free scholarship to attend the Winter 7 day or Summer 11 day camps.  Local Actress RACHELLE HENRY won the award this year.   Filmmakers were given discounts or a variety of activities, transportation and food offerings close to the festival that included partnerships with LYFT (car rides) and our hotel sponsors THE MARQUEEN and MEDITERRANEAN INN

One of the biggest highlights and moving events was the Youth Talent panel hosted by SAG-AFTRA Seattle Actress ASHLEY CORZINE. The panel featured both local Pacific Northwest Guests Rachelle Henry and CONNOR MUHL and special Hollywood guests Fatima Ptacek and star of ABC TV Series Blackish MARSAI MARTIN.  Martin, only 12 years old, empowered the crowd and brought tears to many with her heart felt talk on equality and what it means to be an actor in the industry.  “I want to be known as  strong person, not just a little black girl in the business”, She said.

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L-R Ashley Corzine, Rachelle Henry, Marsai Martin and Fatima Ptacek

Award Winning Seattle Actor and filmmakers Rachelle Henry had this to say about the festival this year; “I had a wonderful time at Seattle Shorts Film Festival getting to support two films I’m in and asked to be on the Breaking Into The Business: Young Actors panel.  I met some amazing filmmakers! It was so exciting to have “Creased” be chosen for the Grand Jury Award. A highlight for me personally. Most importantly honored and grateful to have been chosen to receive a scholarship to YATC! Special thanks to Shawn Ryan, John Ainsworth, Young Actors Theater Camp and Seattle Shorts Film Festival for this honor!”

Winners of the 2016 Seattle Shorts Film Festival:

Grand Jury Prize – Creased – Directed By Jade Justad
Best Director-Last Night in Edinburgh – Directed By Bita Shafipour
Best Actor – Kristoffer Polaha (Frontman AFI Thesis Film)
Best New Talent – Alexandra Turshen (Behind the Wall)
Best Cinematograhy – Vemon Thearpy 
Best College Student Short – Bunee: The Boy Constanta
Best Animation – The Wishgranter
Best Documentary –  Bunee: The Boy Constanta
Best Music Video – Cupido

 

 

 

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SIFF Chief Curator and Festival Director Carl Spence Steps down

 

SEATTLE – October 4, 2016 – SIFF announced today that Carl Spence will begin transitioning out of his role as Chief Curator and Festival Director.  He will continue to serve SIFF in an advisory capacity through Spring 2017.
Spence began his career at SIFF in 1994, helping SIFF co-founders Darryl Macdonald and Dan Ireland grow the Festival to become one of the largest in North America.  For the past 13 years Spence has led the organization’s artistic and educational programs, first as SIFF’s Artistic Director and then more recently as its Chief Curator and Festival Director.  Spence also held curatorial leadership positions at the Palm Springs International Film Festival during this time and also helped launch the Orcas Island Film Festival in 2014.

“When I started at SIFF in 1994 on a three-month contract for the Festival’s 20th anniversary edition, I had no idea that it would turn into a journey of more than two decades,” said Spence.  “I’m so proud of the work we’ve done together, transforming SIFF from a single major annual event into a vibrant year-round arts organization.  I salute my colleagues at SIFF for their unwavering dedication to this aim and most importantly to the thousands of artists involved in the craft of filmmaking along with our film partners who have helped me provide films and experiences to millions of film lovers in Seattle.”

Under Spence’s leadership, SIFF built its flagship film center under the shadow of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle, saved and revived two historic neighborhood cinemas (SIFF Cinema Uptown in Queen Anne and SIFF Cinema Egyptian in Capitol Hill) and supported SIFF’s transition into a major arts and cultural force for all things film. His deep passion and love for film will be his most beloved legacy and lasting gift to the organization and Seattle.

“SIFF’s major expansion has occurred concurrently with Carl curating outstanding film-centered experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world, while also building a world class programming team with a depth and breadth that rivals that of the top festivals in the world,” said Brian LaMacchia, SIFF Board President.  “SIFF’s current success as a year-round film organization is due in large part to Carl’s passion and vision.”

Spence continued, “My career at SIFF has been filled with many exciting opportunities and it’s been a monumental journey to nurture and guide our exponential growth.  But it’s time to start my next story in the arts.  My favorite place in the world will continue to be the back of a completely full theatre as I watch an audience experiencing something awe-inspiring, funny, eye-opening, informative, and entertaining for the very first time.”

SIFF Festival Director of Programming Beth Barrett (Far left) has been appointed Interim Artistic Director. siff-leadership Barrett has worked for SIFF since 2003 and has been responsible for managing all aspects of film programming, the staff of film programmers, and securing films and guests for the Festival.  Barrett has also been instrumental in the programming and management of SIFF Cinema and SIFF’s other year-round programs.  An aficionado of short films, she helped secure SIFF’s status as an Academy Award® qualifying festival in 2008.

Over the past year the SIFF Board has been conducting a search for a new Executive Director, and hopes to announce one shortly.  SIFF is committed to continuing Spence’s progress finding new ways to bring extraordinary films from around the world to SIFF in Greater Seattle and beyond.

 Spence was instrumental in leading SIFF’s transformation from annual film festival to vibrant year-round arts organization

About SIFF
Founded in 1976, SIFF creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world with the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education.  Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival is the largest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 150,000 annually.  The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, presenting over 450 features, short films, and documentaries from over 80 countries each year.  The 43rd annual Seattle International Film Festival will be held May 18 through June 11, 2017.  SIFF Cinema exhibits premier theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings 365 days a year on five screens at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and SIFF Film Center, reaching more than 175,000 attendees annually.  SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences more than 13,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year.

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ORCAS ISLAND Film Festival kicks off Oct 7-10!

PRESS – For immediate Release

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

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

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

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

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

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Director Jean-Marc Vallee

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

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Matthew McConaughey (left) and Jared Leto (right)

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

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

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

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

For OIFF  Press inquiries, contact sara@orcasfilmfest.com

Website:    www.orcasislandfilmfest.com

TWITTER: @OrcasFilmFest