Film Festivals – Beverly Hills, CA
Media Inc. Magazine recently caught up with one of LA’s newest Film Festival Director’s Hollis McLachlan from the Beverly Hills Four Seasons hotel to share with us her rapidly growing and distinguished endeavor, the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival.
Founded in 2013, this unique festival showcases films that are produced and directed by filmmakers whose voices authentically reflect marginalized groups in society. “Anyone and everyone who feels as though they’re on the outskirts of what is represented in our mainstream media, we welcome.” McLachlan said. “When selecting films for our screenings, we look at issues like LGBT, race and religion, women filmmakers and groups that we feel are under-represented and need a bigger voice”.
Their non-profit 501c (3) festival ran three full days this July with plans to grow to five days in the summer of 2017 that could include national satellite events in other cities around the country. “We want to impact communities that might not know much about what or how diversity may look like from a cinematic point of view”, McLachlan added. “A longer festival and more satellite events will allow filmmakers a much more fair and equitable opportunity on screen and networking with other filmmakers and the media.”
Having spent over ten years in the industry as an actor (currently an active SAG/AFTRA member) and educator, McLachlan’s time working with people has allowed her the skill set to understand the unique perspectives of creatives and connect them with others in the industry that often lead to empowering filmmakers to tell much more diverse and compelling multi-cultural stories. “When it comes to Women in Film, there clearly is an in balance of female characters in films these days.” she says. “One of the goals of LADFF is to help change that by bringing more films to screen that accurately and fairly represent our culture at large especially our female audiences world-wide.”
The LADFF accepts films of all genres and lengths including animation while each screener and programmer looks at each film with a very particular critical eye making sure the stories meet the festival commitment to showcase empowering and educational films from these unique groups within our culture.
The upcoming Feature Film The Rainforest has become quite the buzz around town and in many Western Washington regions where parts of the project is slated to be filmed in 2018.
Created, written and executive produced by Award-Winning filmmaker Scott A. Capestany, ‘The Rainforest’ carries quite the exotic and adventurous story-line that’s sure to captivate global audiences while experiencing fascinating footage of both South East Asian (Borneo) and Pacific Northwest Rainforest regions. The story boasts of rich and some authentic indigenous tribal legends woven cleverly into a ‘Lara Croft’-style treasure hunting, swashbuckling action and bold adventure. Filming locations slated include the jungles of South East Asia’s BORNEO region and the Pacific Northwest Region of Western Washington which will be the central settings for this extraordinary feature film.
The story was conceived by Capestany during the filming of his TV series production, NW Waters , while fishing in Western Washington. His quite engaging “proof of concept” teaser (VIEW HERE) has helped him generate interest from investors and global business partners from around the world. The project was selected as a “pitch” finalist for the WA State Filmworks Innovation Lab, which in turn led to multiple Hollywood meetings.
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.
“My ambition and strategy was to spend a few years developing global business partnerships and backing including ironing out the screenplay with the goal to positively impact both the Washington State and South East Asian’s filming locations economy through general interest, commerce and educational awareness of our delicate Rainforests.” he said. “Connecting our proposed filming locations around the world to their local communities will ultimately enhance these regions exposure to the world where our audiences can lean more about these delicate ecosystems while being entertained and engaged with a heart pounding global adventure.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written By Jade Kennedy – Associate Editor
Now after 54 years, one of the most fascinating unsolved US historical mysteries of all time will be returning to the silver screen with an Award Winning screenplay and original story that follows the infamous Escape from Alcatraz by three men on June 11, 1962.
Seattle Producer Scott A. Capestany of Capestany Films negotiated earlier this Spring at the 2016 SCRIPTFEST in Los Angeles, a screenplay option deal with book author Kevin Bruce. Bruce, whose father J. Campbell Bruce penned the original book “Escape from Alcatraz” that was converted into a movie starring Clint Eastwood in 1979, recently completed his screenplay adaptation and became a 2015 Cannes Film Festival screenplay finalist in competition.
Capestany Films has been gaining much attention with numerous industry insiders over the last few years involving their aggressive campaigns designed to bring new large scale Film/TV productions to the Pacific Northwest. Capestany has been strategically positioning his companies IP that includes current projects in development and production mirroring the efforts of Washington Filmworks who have been fighting to restructure the current film incentive program. Currently, the incentive program ranks at the bottom of over 30 States in the union whom offer spectacular and appealing rebates and tax incentives for producers filming in their regions.
At this years 2016 Seattle International Film Festival, Executive Director Amy Lillard accepted an award for Washington Filmworks’ hard work over the years and helping to restore WA State as a premier filming location that could offer better incentives for their filmmakers which in turn positively impact the States local economies.
“It’s always been a cornerstone of Capestany Films to help enhance the number of commercially sound feature films and TV productions that can be filmed in our State without losing high concept global appeal and avoiding big budgets”, Capestany said. “The digital revolution now allows quality feature films to be made in the $1-5M range that now carry lucrative box-office revenue potential around the world”, he added. “We commend the efforts of Washington Filmworks in helping us filmmakers in this regard. However, WA state lawmakers need to re-examine the colossal positive economic impacts these films and TV productions make in our communities and the contributions they make among the overall economic vitality of the region.”
With their new project ‘After Alcatraz – Surviving the Escape’, Capestany and his team plans on bringing a large portion of the film to a small Pacific Northwest community that will feature a magnificent 1960s production design, theme and one of the most popular prison escape stories of all time to Washington State. “Having watched Scott work tirelessly over the years, re-opening the Alcatraz mystery – so to speak – and bringing this tale of intrigue and history to the Evergreen State soil could be the kind of film that helps put Washington State back on the map as a prime and economically viable filming destination.”, said local production designer Aaron John III.
The producers did not comment on or speculate if Clint Eastwood would reprise his role of the aged 85 year old escape Frank Morris or speculate the possibilities of Scott Eastwood to play the lead part of the younger Frank Morris in this film.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
“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
The Washington film industry is battling for its future as the 2016 legislative session rolls on.
Flanked by a strong coalition of film industry allies, Washington Filmworks is leading a campaign to fight for the future of production in the state.
Specifically, Filmworks and its “Keep Film in WA” campaign partners are rallying behind House Bill 2542 (HB 2542), which, if signed into law, would increase funding for the production incentive program and extend its sunset date.
Prime sponsored by Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-3), the bill doubles the size of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program fund to $7 million over two years and increases the fund incrementally until it reaches $10 million by the year 2020. The bill will also extend the sunset date of the program to December 31, 2023.
With its current film incentive fund of just $3.5 million per year, the state has had to turn away millions of dollars in business. In 2015, Washington State lost out on $65 million in economic activity after Washington Filmworks exhausted its fund by March. By increasing the fund’s cap to $7 million, and eventually $10 million, HB 2542 would make Washington more competitive when it comes to drawing production from outside the state.
Washington Filmworks urges film industry professionals to help the campaign by signing the Keep Film in WA petition (KeepFilminWA.com) and by contacting their local legislators to not only provide them with facts and data about the incentive program, but to also share their personal stories of why film is important in Washington State.
Additionally, on January 21, Filmworks organized Film Day in Olympia. Over 200 film professionals and supporters from around the state showed up to lobby their legislators in support of the bill. Campaigners were able to organize and execute over 100 meetings with legislators and got great feedback and insight from the attendees who took the meetings.
Following Film Day, on January 22, was the Hearing in front of the House Finance Committee, during which 9 members of the film community testified on behalf of HB 2542. According to Filmworks, a total of 35 people signed in to support the bill that morning—an amazing show of support.
Stay tuned to www.washingtonfilmworks.org as the legislative session progresses to find out what you can do to Keep Film in WA!
By Mary Erickson Associate Editor
Photo by Owen Carey
Janice Shokrian has worked around the film industry for years. Now she’s firmly embedded within the industry as the new head of Oregon’s industry association, the Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA).
After Tom McFadden resigned his post as Executive Director in February 2015, the OMPA has been in the interim hands of Nathaniel Applefield. The OMPA’s Board of Directors conducted a search to find McFadden’s replacement, and selected Shokrian to lead the OMPA in December 2015.
Ever since, Shokrian has been hitting the ground running. She’s traveled around the state, familiarizing herself with the myriad of individuals involved in Oregon’s media industry. Also on the agenda: getting familiar with the SourceOregon Directory and determining how to maximize its impact, particularly with regards to state incentive programs.
“The directory isn’t just a place to have your name. It has a greater purpose. It’s also a show of force for legislators,” Shokrian comments. “This message needs to resonate more fully.”
Shokrian brings a trove of arts management experience, having worked in volunteer management and marketing over the course of her career. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Portland Actors Conservatory, and she also ran a boutique marketing company for 12 years, working with a Grammy Award-winning musician, an opera singer, and other clients from the nonprofit arts world. “I’ve always wanted to work in the nonprofit world,” says Shokrian. “It’s important that I have a cause and a drive to my work.”
Although she hasn’t been directly involved much in the film industry prior to her appointment with the OMPA, Shokrian is committed to understanding the dynamics within the organization and around the state. “I’m looking at the OMPA from a 30,000 feet viewpoint…this perspective allows me to look at our work from a different vantage point.”
She’s excited to be a champion for the industry and to provide support, especially working within Oregon’s film community. “I feel proud of our state. It’s not pretentious. Everybody stands shoulder-to-shoulder. There’s a real giveback sense in the community.” Shokrian hopes to continue that sense of involvement in the community while building the OMPA’s membership, which currently stands at roughly 800 members. Shokrian will also work with organizations around the state, such as Southern Oregon Film and Media (SOFaM), to ensure that the sense of community is supported and sustained throughout Oregon.
“We represent the whole state, not just Portland,” she says. “We’re Oregon-centric.”
In early March, Washington Filmworks announced that House Bill 2542, which would have increased and extended Washington’s Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, did not move forward for a vote in this year’s legislative session, effectively killing the bill.
As written, the bill would have doubled the size of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program fund to $7 million over two years and increased the fund incrementally until it reached $10 million by the year 2020. The bill would have also extended the sunset date of the program to December 31, 2023.
According to Filmworks, the bill could not overcome political hurdles in Olympia, nor could it overcome the revenue forecast, which indicated another $68 million budget shortfall this year and an even more significant budget shortfall for the next biennium.
Although the outcome for HB 2542 was disheartening for Washington’s production industry, it comes on the heels of a tremendous effort from the community, which organized a Keep Film in WA campaign to inform legislators of the incentive program’s benefits and raise the profile of the industry. In January, the campaign also organized Film Day in Olympia, where over 200 film professionals and supporters from around the state showed up to lobby their legislators in support of the bill.
“The fact of the matter is that everyone that took part in any aspect of the Keep Film in WA campaign did a tremendous job at raising the profile and visibility of the state-wide film industry,” said Filmworks in a statement. “It was a banner year in terms of the amount of support we received from legislators—with 33 sponsors of our bill from both political parties and representing every corner of the state. These figures, along with the feedback we received from legislators and lobbyists alike, demonstrates that we actually were wildly successful, despite not achieving our final goals.”
Washington Filmworks held debriefing sessions in Seattle on March 29 and Spokane on March 31 to discuss the campaign and its many accomplishments. As for the future of the state’s production industry, Filmworks is currently strategizing to determine their next steps in order to ensure that film stays in Washington.
Meanwhile, the film incentive program is not scheduled to sunset until June 30, 2017, so projects will still be able to take advantage of the incentive, and business is continuing as usual for Washington Filmworks. Visit www.washingtonfilmworks.org for more.
Oregon Senate Bill 1507 enjoyed a unanimous victory on February 24, raising the annual cap on the state’s film and video tax credit. Currently at $10 million, the cap will rise to $12 million this year and $14 million in 2017.
Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) commended the impact of the raised cap, noting, “This bill encourages investment in this state by members of this vibrant industry.” Senator Mark Hass (D-Beaverton), who carried the bill on the Senate floor, concurred with Burdick. “It was important to the committee that we protect film and television jobs,” Hass said.
The Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA) rallied its members, along with other representatives from the Oregon media industry, two weeks earlier to attend Industry Day in Salem. This effort drew over 70 volunteers to lobby for increasing the Oregon Production Investment Fund (OPIF). The Capital was abuzz with OMPA members and other industry workers who met with Senators, Representatives and the Speaker of the House.
Legislators also had the opportunity to visit the Gallery where the Oregon Film Office and OMPA arranged for interactive displays to demonstrate the quality and depth of opportunities available in the industry. Legislators sat down with The Librarians star Christian Kane for a one-on-one interview, and Grimm’s Danny Bruno visited legislators’ offices and conducted impromptu on-camera interviews.
Janice Shokrian, Executive Director of the OMPA, cheered the Senate’s support of the industry. “We are cautiously optimistic as our legislators see the film incentive as a sound return on Oregon’s investment,” she said. “The economic impact has a broad reach that positively impacts many vendors and local businesses.”
Parts of this article are reprinted with permission from OMPA.
Steve & Kate’s Camp is looking for a filmmaker-in-residence for the summer.
Here is a brief description of the job:
You will be on set for an approximate 11-week shoot, producing, directing, and maybe even co-starring in videos destined for viral greatness… at least, in the homes of our campers. You are not limited by format or genre. Comedy, action, documentary — you do it all. You have an eye for catching the film-worthy moments of everyday life and want to help inspire our future filmmakers (aka our campers).
Dates: June 20-August 19, 2016 (at both the Seattle and Bellevue locations) with some training before the camp session
The work is full-time for the duration of the season.
Click this link to apply: https://steveandkatescamp.com/jobs/summer-jobs/
Please complete the application under the heading “Summer Jobs” and indicate that you’d like to be the filmmaker.