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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Companies attending in 2017 HERE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLASSES + GUESTS + PANELS HERE!

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

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

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

 

The Big Swim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Actress Kimberly Leemans as RACHEL on location in Cozumel, Mexico

Q: Tell us about the casting process.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She can be found on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK

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

SEATTLE — May 3, 2017 — SIFF Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GALAS

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

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

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

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

Closing Night Gala
The Young Karl Marx
North American Premiere

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

SPECIAL GUESTS

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

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

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

AN AFTERNOON WITH
Sam Elliott
Featuring The Hero

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

FEATURE FILM PREMIERES

World (14)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

North American (22)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. (11)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COMPETITIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FILMS WITH PARTIES

Opening Night Gala
The Big Sick

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

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

Centerpiece Gala
Landline

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

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

Closing Night Gala
The Young Karl Marx
North American Premiere

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

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

Saturday Film and Party #1
The Trip to Spain

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

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

Saturday Film and Party #2
The Little Hours

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

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

Kirkland Opening Night
Footnotes

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

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

Gay-La
Susanne Bartsch: On Top

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

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

AFRICAN PICTURES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHINA STARS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CULINARY CINEMA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FACE THE MUSIC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NORTHWEST CONNECTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

360˚/VR STORYTELLING POWERED BY WONDERTEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SIFF EDUCATION

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

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

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

VENUES

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

BELLEVUE
Lincoln Square Cinemas

KIRKLAND
Kirkland Performance Center

RENTON
Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center

SHORELINE
Shoreline Community College

SIFF 2017 BY THE NUMBERS

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

Nic Novicki BEST header

Easterseals SoCal partners with Disability Film Challenge

press_scottcapestany_mediaincmagazine

By Scott A. Capestany – Editor In Chief

Hollywood, CA

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

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

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

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

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

Nic Novicki 1

Nic Novicki Founder of Easterseals Disability Film Challenge

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

Q:  How does the Easterseals Disability Film challenge work?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for more about  EASTERSEALS Southern California 

Follow Easterseasls SC on TWITTER

 

 

 

 

LAAPFF Banner smallest BEST

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

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Opening night screening 7pm @ Egyptian Theater Hollywood!

By Scott A. Capestany @MediaIncMag 

Hollywood, CA

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

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

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

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

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

APRIL 28, 2017 – Special Screening – 4pm

RELOCATION ARKANSAS (Trailer link)

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

RElocation Arkansas

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

GOOK

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

The LAAPFF is produced by the VISUAL COMMUNICATION Group. 

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

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

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

 

Tickets and information for this years LAAPFF:

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival

Follow them on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM

 

TCM

Talent Agency Spotlight – TCM Talent of Seattle

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

MI:  Tell us more about TCM

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

MI: Tell us about your staff here at TCM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow TCM on TWITTER + IG + FACEBOOK

©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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Courtside with PAC-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans

press_scottcapestany_mediaincmagazineMarch 2017

Seattle, WA – Key Arena

Shortly before the quarterfinals began at the 2017 Women’s Basketball PAC-12 Championship in Seattle, WA at the Key Arena earlier this Spring, we got a chance to sit down with PAC-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans to get an inside look at the extraordinary transformation the conference has gone through since the advent of the PAC-12 Networks.  With one of the new segments of editorial content being ‘Media In Sports’ in 2017, we were honored to chat with this very dynamic leader who has helped transform the way we consume sports media both here in the United States, but also all around the world.

Q: Tell us about the inception of the PAC-12 Network

A:  We’re now in our fifth year of the PAC-12 Networks.  Our initial mission was to create a media company owned by the twelve universities and managed by the PAC-12 conference.  The impetus was to provide more exposure to the schools and student-athletes which today we are now producing 850 LIVE events across 32 sports each academic year.  Which means sports like Women’s basketball and all the olympic sports that didn’t get television exposure before now get  significant national and sometimes global exposure.  We are now achieving this through TV networks and across the digital platforms including social media.

Q: What  do you think has helped you achieved success in such a short period of time with the PAC-12 Network?

There was an amazing foundation in place.  The PAC-10, which became the PAC-12, had phenomenal athletic teams both in women and men’s sports as the conference of champions with 493 NCAA championships to call our own.  And what my staff and I have done since the inception of the network was to build on a stellar foundation that was already in place.   There was this amazing brand and level of athletic talent within the conference and so with the  media company what we did was build the infrastructure to be able to provide exposure for that talent.  I also think the advancement in  technology has helped us significantly over the last four years.  When we launched a handful of years ago, twitter was not streaming video, Instagram did not exist and Facebook was not streaming live.  And those are all different vehicles for us to now partner with and distribute content.  So we came along when the timing was just right with both technology and the content we had to showcase.

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PAC-12 Network President Lydia Murphy-Stephans

Q: Tell us about your leadership team.

A: At the initial stages when we were in the planning phases for the network, we were thinking of it as a multi-faceted media company. We never though of it as a set of family of TV networks, so we decided to run parallel paths of the liner side of the business and the digital side of the business that allowed both our network staff and conference staff to work together and side by side.  The PAC-12 network consists of around 185 full-time staffers and over 1500 freelance workers across our six states that bring a unique blend of highly skilled media people along with highly skilled tech savvy team members.

Q: Tell us about your Networks production footprint and structure in terms of operations and athletic coverage.

PAC-12 networks is owned by the 12 Universities.  We produce over 850 events and over 550 hours of content across six states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Utah.  Our twelve Universities  include UCLA, USC, Stanford, University of California-Berkeley, University of Oregon, Oregon State, University of Arizona, Arizona State University, University of Washington, Washington State University, University of Colorado and the University of Utah where we have over 110 athletic venues.

Q: What’s new to PAC-12 Networks this year and what’s to come in the future?

A:  Being headquartered close to silicon valley certainly has its advantages for us.  Thus allowing us to strategically position ourselves to partner with all the technology that allows us to deliver our content.  This last year we added twitter LIVE and Sling TV.  PAC-12 Networks currently is also delivered over the top internationally on both YouTube and EverSport.  Making us available in every country in the world outside the United States that has Internet service. Our focus now is to maximize the distribution both domestically and internationally.   

Prior to becoming the President of the PAC-12 network, Murphy-Stevens cut her teeth as a young producer for ABC sports.  She also was a member of the 1984 Olympic speed skating team.

 

Danette Leighton

PAC-12 CMO Danette Leighton – Innovation and Excellence

Scott A. Capestany

Editor In Chief – Scott A. Capestany

March 2017- Seattle, WA

As the PAC-12 Woman’s NCAA basketball tournament unfolded this Spring at the Key Arena, Media Inc Magazine got a chance to sit down with two quite extraordinary PAC-12 conference executives whom together lead the nation’s most impressive linear and digital broadcast entities – the PAC-12 Network.  As part one of our two part featured ‘Women In sports’ coverage of the NCAA Women’s PAC-12 Conference tournament, we first caught up with first with the Chief Marketing Officer – DANETTE LEIGHTON.

Leighton, whom was appointed the first ever CMO in the history of the conference by commissioner Larry Scott , returned to the PAC-12 in 2010 after cutting her teeth with some of the biggest organizations in professional sports, the WNBA, NBA and Sony Sports.  Prior to her meteoric rise in the world of sports marketing as an executive, Leighton had a long-standing connection to the conference since graduating from the PAC-10’s (at the time) University of Arizona in 1993.

She realized this unique passion and connection to the world of sports and the now the PAC-12, suited her well when the call came from conference commissioner LARRY SCOTT to execute his elaborate vision to re-brand and enhance the conferences already impressive tradition of excellence.

Q: Tell us about your journey to the PAC-12 Conference & Network and the brands evolution to where it is today.

I’m a product of the PAC-10 (the former name of the PAC-12 before Colorado and Utah joined in 2011) where my father played baseball at UCLA and I went to Arizona so pretty much grew up in this league.  So, when I came back seven years ago, I already had a very strong passion for what this brand is and was.  I believe a brand is truly built on its genuine and authentic pillars that exist.  So, my job when I came on board was to really find the ones that differentiated us and start to “pound our chest”, so to speak, but to do it in a way to always be humble.

One of the first things I worked on with our commissioner, Larry Scott, where he was already well down a path of doing an overview of where the brand was and where we needed to go, was to examine the Pac-10 brand that we had and to fortify and strengthen the conferences three very strong brand pillars.  Innovation, geography and excellence.   Geographically speaking, it wasn’t only about the beauty of the mountains, deserts and ocean that made our regional footprint unique, but dating back to the covered wagons pilgrimage to the west coast, it represented a time where Americans moving west carried with them an innovative mindset and looking for a better way of life.

The history of our twelve Universities were each built on the foundations of this great academic success but through a very modern and progressive point of view.  Our strength of being on the west coast really tailored well into the innovation brand pillar we believe is so unique to us.  Blending three very innovative communities in our geographic footprint you can think about entertainment in Hollywood, the Pacific Northwest and Silicon Valley which is our biggest differentiator when you look at us across the landscape of sports compared to other conferences.  Our third pillar of excellence reflects our long and distinguished history of dominance within athletics.  Entering our 101 year of existence, we hold the most NCAA titles than any conference and what makes it so amazing we are currently at 493 national titles where our next closest counterpart is roughly half of that.  We not only have the dominance of the national titles, but we also have a strong Olympic success as well for both men and women.  I believe we made up roughly 80% of team USA which, if we were a country, we would have finished fifth in the overall medal count. Which complemented our progressive mindset of always offering these types of opportunities to both men and women and really value the importance of them.

So, one of my primary roles since I have arrived was tell the stories of these 7000+ student athletes that make up our PAC-12 through these distinguishable and long standing traditions in both athletics and academics.

Q: What experiences from your prior endeavors have helped you enhance the PAC-12 brand.

When I worked with the Monarchs of the WNBA managing the business side of things, I learned how to be scrappy, innovative and mindful of modest business operations and initiatives.  While working with the Kings of the NBA under the great commissioner of David Stern, I had the honor to work with some very dynamic owners who allowed me to work autonomously which Commissioner Scott has supported and embraced with my current position here at the Pac-12.  What I learned most was how different the two brands were and how to market to uniquely different to the men and women fan base of each of the organizations which has helped me tremendously here with the Pac-12.

Q: Tell us more about the creation of the PAC-12 Network.

One of the most impressive and innovative ideas that my commissioner Larry Scott conceived since my arrival has been the creation of the Pac-12 Network.  For the first time in conference history fans can experience LIVE linear and digital broadcasts of over 850 games across multiple platforms and multiple sports.  Where before the TV coverage was very minimal and nearly non-existent with many women sports.  We now LIVE stream our all our basketball press conferences on Facebook live and utilize multiple platforms like Twitter and Instagram to engage our fans around the world.

The network also has enhanced the relationship between student-athletes, fans and families.  Where some live quite far away from their kids and now have the technology to watch and experience their kid sporting events.  Not to mention how the network has helped and complimented the recruiting component allowing high schools coaches from around the county to watch incoming student-athletes.

Q:  What is the most exciting part of your job.

I love being a part of a team and leading a great group of humans. I think it’s very important to believe in what your organization stands for in terms of personal and cultural standpoint.  Although I feel very strong about our brand and our 12 universities, the role that I love so much is experiencing events like this one here in Seattle, the PAC-12 Conference Championship tournament.   I feel very lucky that my team gets to touch everything and experience it.   I value the autonomy commissioner Scott gives me to execute his vision every day at my job.

The one thing that impressed me the most in chatting with Danette was her fierce passion and genuine love she has for her Pac-12 team she works with every day.   But most impressively, her innovative vision she has reflecting her commissioners most impressive creative to date – the Pac-12 Networks.

The Source for Northwest Media News and Information

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